Thursday, September 4, 2008

No Experience Necessary

I’ll admit one thing, Sarah Palin gives a good speech, certainly better than anything that ever came out of the mouth of George W. Bush or John McCain. The Dems continue to hammer her about her lack of experience, and she gives it right back to Obama with the same indictment. So here’s my question, “Who the hell made up the rules and decided that experience was the main qualifier for the job of President?”

Based on the backgrounds of the men who’ve held the nation’s highest office, and looking at their performance, the historical evidence would show that experience counts for nothing in this particular job. NOTHING. The man in government right now with the deepest and broadest experience is Dick Cheney. Before he became V.P. he had gained experience at the governmental department level, the cabinet level within a previous administration, and the congressional level. In addition, he had broad experience in high-level business outside government. On paper, he had it all, and then he became Darth Vader once he got elected on a presidential ticket. Close behind Cheney with their impressive “experience-based ” resumes would be Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, and neither of these two Vietnam-era honchos are being considered for inclusion on Mount Rushmore.

On the other end of the spectrum would fall two men with very little experience, Harry Truman and Abraham Lincoln. Their experience (or lack of experience) would be comparable to what we see in Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, but that didn’t stop Lincoln from ending slavery in the country, and Truman from ending racial discrimination in the military. Lincoln and Truman had good intellect, character, and temperament, and these are the qualities that the founding fathers hoped would be the criteria for selecting Presidents down through the history of the country. If the founding fathers had believed that the future of the nation depended on one man at the top with lifetime experience, they would have given us a king. Dick Cheney actually believes that’s what happened.

There simply is no kind of experience that can prepare a President for something like the American Civil War, or Pearl Harbor, or the Cuban Missile Crisis, or 9/11. The first three of those crises were faced by men with good intellect and temperament. Not so much with 9/11, and we can see what a lack of intellect has produced there. As American voters, we really do need to look beyond the “experience” baloney, or we’ll keep getting mediocre leaders with fluff-padded resumes and lame brains.

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