You can’t escape the presidential election. Whether you are in a coffee shop or grocery store, the newspaper headlines regularly highlight the latest election news. In fact, even airports stream 24/7 news channels to traveling passengers. Furthermore, it’s impossible not to login to Facebook or social media without presidential campaign information being splattered across the screen. This 2016 presidential election has literally changed the way our world views politics. In an election year where a significant number of Americans are not satisfied with either candidate, this begs the question: how can the Office of President attract qualified candidates?
Employment for non-elected officials begins with human resources departments and managers reviewing resumes, qualifications and key skills. Businesses understand the importance of hiring qualified candidates, as employees can either make a business successful or shatter a company’s professional image.
It is ironic, however, that political candidates do not have any such requirements. Aside from requiring U.S. citizenship, being 35 years old or older and residing in the U.S. for 14 years, there are no restrictions on running for president. Perplexing and concerning, this leaves the most important office in our country in state delegates’ hands.
Additionally, felons who are incarcerated or on parole do not have the right to vote but have the right to run for president. Yes, that technically means someone in jail could launch a campaign for president.
So how can the U.S. be more diligent about the candidates that run for office? It’s important that the public look at the Office of President not as celebrity status but as the most important job in our nation. Representing the U.S., the president is in charge of our foreign relations, integral components to maintaining peace. This office requires a strong leader and good communicator, someone who motivates the people and makes the country a better place. Presidents should unite citizens, not tear the country apart.
The bottom line is that electing a president requires that citizens voice their concerns and opinions. Recently, Maine eliminated their delegates, favoring a popular vote system. Many states are looking to Maine as an example, but whether other states will eliminate delegates is yet to be seen.
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