The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – Lack of political record hinders candidates

By Jamil oakford/ managing editor

What does it mean to be qualified for the highest office in the U.S.?

Most would say a good personality could go a long way, and perhaps even a political record helps. But, recently, people have made the argument that a lack of political experience is a good thing.

It’s a slightly new idea to trust candidates who’ve never held office of any kind as the right choice for the country’s highest office. But it’s definitely not a good thing.

The equivalent would be starting on the janitorial staff and then becoming a CEO overnight.

The point: Some steps are missing in the middle that might be valuable to someone holding such a powerful position.

But the appeal of underqualified presidential candidates is somewhat understandable. Some citizens might feel slighted because they feel their needs aren’t being met or addressed in Washington.

Distrust of someone whose record is mired in politics and strongly connected to Washington seems a common theme. In ways, that’s what makes America great: the fact that we can elect whomever we want whether that person is qualified for the job.

Yet, this is a downside as well. The president has a job unlike any other. It’s a job that requires finesse, some general knowledge of geopolitical matters and perhaps a general knowledge of many subjects. Skills are needed that could have been fine-tuned from having held political office before.

This isn’t to say a candidate who has held political office is automatically qualified for the presidency. Ex-Gov. Rick Perry held his office for years, and he’s failed in his run for the presidency twice.

But a political record has a subtle advantage whether a governor or member of Congress. Such candidates tend to know the lawmaking process, can take their ideas and make them appeal to those who may not be on their side completely and also hold some knowledge about many subjects, not just one.

Political experience shouldn’t be looked at as a weakness but more as a mid-level power-booster on a candidate’s resume.

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