I recently posted on FaceBook a comment made by Ms. McCain which generated quite a bit of traffic. Her comments have bothered my for a few days now and I think I finally understand why. It’s because of several intertwined themes I am seeing in this Republic of ours.
MEGHAN McCAIN: “Well, I speak as a 26 year old woman and my problem is that no matter what, Christine O’Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office. She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business. And what that says to my generation is one day you can just wake up and run for Senate no matter how lack of… experience you have. And it scares me for a lot of reasons.”
The implications are that if one is not a political insider or business mogul we should just as soon not get out of bed as get the harebrained idea that we could be qualified to run for public office, in this case the US Senate. A quick review of the US Constitution will reveal a very limited list of prerequisites for candidacy to the US Senate.
“No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.”
Those requirements are 1) must be 30 years old 2) must have been a citizen for 9 years 3) must live in the state which you are representing. That’s it. I don’t see any requirement that a candidate possess a certain level of education, financial prowess, business experience, military experience, political connections, or even a lack of a criminal record. This is my first problem with her comment. My second problem is with US, the voters.
When did we become a nation that relied upon others who were smarter/better qualified/more educated/more experienced to direct how we live our lives? Is Ms. O’Donnell crazy? I don’t know nor do I care. Is she brilliant? I don’t know nor do I care. I know she has had to hold a job in which she would be fired for a lack of performance. She has had to live on a budget. She has had to live like an average American. Gone are the days that our legislators would meet in a limited capacity relying upon their private endeavors to provide an income. We now have an elitist class of aristocrats who come from the halls of academia with law degrees who know better how we should live our lives having never had to walk a mile in our shoes. I am not the smartest person in the room, I am not the most financially successful person either. I am not the most politically active or experienced. I would place money though that I can discuss the Constitution, the founding legal document of our Republic in greater detail than many of our rulers. I feel this qualifies me to run for any office that the child of a career politician.
It is said that Jefferson stated he would rather face a jury of farmers than lawyers. I am inclined to think he would also rather a legislation filled with people who know real work (physical and intellectual) who have had to live lives impacted by decisions made by legislators rather than lawyers who spend their entire lives in a city on a swamp elevated above the laws of the masses.