There is a lot of discussion concerning the presidential candidates. When one candidate is attacked, supporters of that candidate counter with; “who would be the best candidate then?” and then list reasons the other candidates are poor choices.
Naturally, a good question to ask at this point would be; “what are the actual responsibilities of the President of the United States (POTUS)?” Because if we are going to scrutinize the candidates running for this office, we must scrutinize them based on the responsibilities they will actually be undertaking.
Now, when talking about a candidate’s credentials, it is natural to look at past experience. Granted, there aren’t many jobs that would qualify someone 100% for the role of POTUS. However, if you consider the responsibilities of the role and the powers they would be given, it would have to be someone that understands those responsibilities and perhaps has some experience in something related, at least.
In the legislative role, the president has the power to sign bills into law or veto them. Therefore the requirement to know a little bit about the procedure of law making would be helpful, as well as what to look for as far as reasons to veto certain bills.
In the executive power role there are a couple things to consider. First, there is the war and foreign powers aspect. This includes being the armed forces commander-in-chief. I would think it would be difficult to be a commander in chief without having been a commander at all.
The president also directs U.S. Foreign policy. Through the Department of State and the Department of Defense, the president is responsible for the protection of Americans abroad and of foreign nationals in the United States. This makes the security of the citizens a primary concern, as well as the vitality of the State. Likewise, being level headed and respectful are necessary aspects of the job, especially when dealing with cultures and faiths different from their own. It is imperative to be loyal to our allies and firm in dealing with our enemies, always dealing respectfully with everyone as to not have allies become enemies, or provoke enemies into war. Rather, through our respectful conduct, we might perhaps turn enemies into allies.
Then we have the administrative powers. The president is the head of the executive branch of the federal government and is constitutionally obligated to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The executive branch has over four million employees, including members of the military. In this regard, being a CEO of a major corporation might help qualify for the position, considering they would have a large number of employees under him, but the objective is slightly different.
Next we have the juridical powers. The president also has the power to nominate federal judges, including members of the United States courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. This takes a person to assess potential judges based on the ability to accomplish their jobs, not score points for their political side.
Finally, the legislative facilitator. The Constitution’s Ineligibility Clause prevents the President from simultaneously being a member of Congress. Therefore, the president cannot directly introduce legislative proposals for consideration in Congress. This is important considering some presidents may want to overstep their bounds.
This may be common knowledge for most, but I doubt it. Most people think the president is a popularity contest, deciding who they “like” best based on their stances on different issues or religious dispositions. Many of the “issues” the presidential candidates are campaigning so hard with have no business being on the federal radar, let alone being the driving force in their campaign.
We could complain that none of the candidates are adequately qualified, but I wonder if even half of the citizens are “qualified” to vote (my qualifier being that the voter has to be informed). I would almost suggest an essay explaining why a voter is voting the way they are be submitted with their ballot to make sure they actually have a justifiable reason for their vote. “Because they are Republican” shouldn’t be a justifiable reason.
But that’s just my opinion.