Who Is Qualified To Be President?
I tire of White voters making the ridiculous arguments about who is qualified to be President, and what qualifications make candidates suitable for a Presidential run. After the election of Donald Trump, a bar of soap could be qualified to be president.
The fact is, no one is qualified to be a President except a President running for re-election, or a former President. Both candidates received on-the-job training as President, and that’s the only thing that makes someone qualified. According to the Library of Congress, the only legal requirements for presidential candidates as directed by the Constitution is that the candidate must be a natural-born United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older, which means Vice-Presidential candidates should probably also meet this requirement before being selected to ensure they meet the legal requirements if they must be sworn in as President in case of a national emergency, death, impeachment, etc.
These are the only criteria a person must meet to be the President of the United States. Any other grandiose criteria we voters desire are personal preferences.
Today I read a tweet on Twitter noting Senator Elizabeth Warren was chatting up former Florida candidate for governor Andrew Gillum as a potential Vice-Presidential candidate. Immediately, White liberal Twitter came up with their usual generic reason Mayor Gillum would not be an acceptable choice. One man noted he wasn’t qualified, which is the same accusation levied against candidates of color all the time. Sometimes, our candidates are more qualified, but the fact is overshadowed by an excessive focus on the default White candidate. After this epic Trump presidency I’m forced to endure, I’m questioning everything taught to me about politics. I found this qualification criteria was another lie that I needed to deprogram myself away from.
I began thinking about what makes someone “qualified,” who gets to make that determination, and why is it that candidates of color must meet some extra super-achiever metrics while White candidates can possess and enjoy winning with little or no experience? It’s a double-standard that prevents good candidates from leading. These qualifications preferences are a form of White Supremacy that keeps Black voters and voters of color from having the representation they want instead of the representation Whiteness selects for them.
To be honest, I have my own reservations about a Warren-Gillum ticket, in particular Senator Warren, but I can’t say either of them aren’t unqualified. They both meet the minimum requirements (qualifications) to be President of the United States. Both Gillum and Warren have held public office before, so as far as qualifications preferences go, they know how public service is supposed to work unlike the current occupant of the White House.
The only requirements for President are the requirements noted in our Constitution. Anything else we ask of political candidates running for President or any other public office for our vote are likely personal preferences. We can’t possibly determine whether those personal preferences will make or break a better candidate until after the candidate of choice takes office (i.e. Donald Trump is a business man despite having filed for bankruptcy several times).
So instead of saying a presidential candidate isn’t qualified, how about saying “My preference for qualifications are…?” Your qualifications are subjective, and perhaps maybe even a little biased. Let’s stop placing stringent rules on good people who may want to run for office but are afraid because they can’t meet some high, unnecessary, group-imposed metric. What do we have to lose? We have a nation of predatory, professional polished liars with all the educational background, community involvement, and political ladder climbing needed to look good for some superficial voters. Meeting our superficial qualification metrics doesn’t make a good candidate.
It’s time we understand the difference between desired qualifications for President and the actual requirements for President. The Constitution doesn’t mention anything at all about qualifications for President. When we know better, hopefully we’ll better decisions. We’ve tried all the other stuff to pick our leaders, maybe it’s time for us to try something different.
Get back to the basics.
© 2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.