Political Experience Should Be a Prerequisite for Candidacy


“Running Doesn’t Always Make You the Most Fit” (Cartoon/ Daanya Salmanullah).

Christian Carr-Locke

"Running Doesn't Always Make You the Most Fit" (Cartoon/ Daanya Salmanullah).
“Running Doesn’t Always Make You the Most Fit” (Cartoon/ Daanya Salmanullah).

Every president who has held office has had some type of political experience preceding his presidency, whether having been a governor, a member of the house, or a senator. One man however, in particular, has defied the course of presidential history. In just weeks, he led the G.O.P. polls, divided the nation through his lack of political correctness, and managed to get his name on every news station imaginable. Yes, that man is world renowned businessman —  Donald Trump.

Donald Trump — real estate tycoon and creator of the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice — formally launched his presidential campaign this past June. Since then, Trump has drawn attention to important topics and has promised to be “the greatest jobs president that God has ever created.”

However, Trump has absolutely no political experience, whether he claims so or not. Yes, he does have a lot of entrepreneurial experience and has proven to be quite the successful businessman in terms of his monetary value; however, in order to be Commander in Chief, Trump needs to have a competency for more than just economics.

Presidential candidates on both sides of the political spectrum have to meet three standards in order to attain the Presidency: one must be thirty-five years of age, a resident within the United States for 14 years, and a natural born citizen. While Donald Trump meets the basic requirements, he fails to bring a set of political credentials to the table. These three basic requirements are not enough to determine the eligibility of a candidate because they only act as constitutional guidelines and do not determine the political capability of each candidate.

Out of the leading eleven republican nominees, eight have political experience.

Carly Fiorina, former C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard, and Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon — like Donald Trump — have no political experience. Fiorina and Carson have had relatively successful careers — having worked for admired companies and having performed at highly respectable hospitals, etc., and both primarily appeal to the economic concerns of lower and middle class America.

So, what do all three of the leading republican nominees have in common?

In Trump and Fiorina’s case, they are financially successful. In Carson’s case, he is intellectually successful. There is a common theme amongst all three: success.

Americans are tired of political leaders who struggle to act. They are in dire need of a capable, promising, and most importantly, successful leader that will get work done in office. As a result of this desire, so far, Americans have expressed their faith in financially prosperous business persona, like Trump and Fiorina, and hope that these candidates can carry over their successful track records into the oval office.

That being said, if there were certain political requirements for president, Americans would not cast their vote based on the financial success of certain candidates.

Mainly Trump’s (as he leads the polls), as well as Fiorina and Carson’s unfamiliarity with politics poses a dilemma for America’s future. There is more to the presidency than creating jobs or simply “building a wall” to keep immigrants out of the United States.

Candidates should meet a simple standard in order to run for office: they should have either held a position in the cabinet of a previous President or have held office as a senator or governor of a state.

While such requirements would narrow the pool of candidates, the man or woman who eventually takes office will have had some diplomatic experience and have a thorough understanding of what goes on in D.C.

For Example, how would business mogul Donald Trump deal with illegal immigration, in comparison to Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida?

Well, it’s pretty simple for Trump. He explained in his Presidential Announcement Speech that “[he’ll] build a great, great wall on our southern border and [he] will have Mexico pay for that wall.” And let’s not forget, “nobody builds walls better than [Trump].”

Bush, rather, intends to deal with illegal immigration by tapping into his diplomatic experience. He plans to implement a system known as E-Verify, which determines the eligibility of foreign employees to work in the U.S. In addition, he plans to dissemble sanctuary cities. Such a process ensures that immigrants legally join the workforce.

Trump, a man with no diplomatic familiarity, would approach illegal immigration in a rash manner that does not consider the consequences of such grand actions, whereas Bush would approach the dilemma more like that of an actual conservative who thoroughly considers the process in which illegal immigration would be handled.

Donald Trump has grabbed the media’s attention since the day he announced his candidacy. Comments on women’s sexual appeal and an absence of “political correctness,” plans to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S., numerous immature attacks on other republican candidates — all are examples of how Trump has somehow managed to find his way to the top of the National Republican Polls. Just because Trump has drawn attention to important political, economic, and social issues does not mean he is capable of handling those issues. If a system in which candidates had to meet one out of the three possible political requirements is established, then voters can ensure that their next President is capable of dealing with diplomatic challenges as well as economic issues.