Author: sarahwornow7

Candidates Running for Presidency Must Have Been Elected to a Public Office


PRO (3 arguments)

Definitions:

“Elected public official” means a person elected to hold an office in the United States created by the Constitution or laws of a state.” This definition is in accordance with the National Conference of State Legislatures which stated that people who have held a military position qualify as elected, because the highest officials in the military are chosen by a military tribunal. Thus, any person who has held an official role in the military would be allowed to run for President.

1. Donald Trump’s winning of the Presidency has opened the door to other celebrities with no political experience or prior interest in politics to run.
Warrant:

No one thought Donald Trump would win, even Donald Trump himself.  Now that he’s shown everyone the power of being a celebrity can win a national election, other celebrities are going to run. Now that Trump has won, other unqualified celebrities are saying they will run for President in 2020.  Following Trump's win, actor Ron Perlman, best known for his movie “Hellboy,”  took to Facebook to proclaim, "I am hereby using my immense Facebook presence to announce my candidacy for President of United States, 2020.” Other celebrities who said they are running in 2020 include rapper Kanye West, action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, rap singer Will Smith, comedian Chris Rock, pop singer Katy Perry and TV star Oprah Winfrey, according to the magazine “Business Insider.”

Impact:

If we don’t put this requirement for prior public office into our Constitution, the Presidency will be just another popularity contest like the show “Dancing with the Stars,”  instead of a reflection of who is most qualified to lead the country.  The candidates for the most serious job in the world will continue to be sillier and more dangerous.  Judge, do you really want to live in a country led by President Kanye West and Vice President Katy Perry?  If we don’t adopt this  resolution, this could actually happen.  There is nothing to stop it.

Sources:

Business Insider, The Fiscal Times

2. Historically, candidates who have never been elected to a public office before becoming President, tend to be less successful Presidents.
Warrant:

There are only 5 US presidents, including president-elect Trump, who have never been elected to a public office before. These presidents are generally thought to have been bad presidents. As president of the united states you have many responsibilities that can be learned through running for public office. If a doctor and a governor both ran for president, the doctor could be a great doctor, but the governor would almost definitely be more prepared to be a president. A candidate that has experience and is more prepared for the job would be a smarter choice. The very well respected 1996 Schlesinger poll asked scholars and historians to rate the presidents. Of the 4 presidents we have had that were not elected to public office, three of them were rated below average or failures.  These failures include Hoover, who was president during the Great Depression, and was viewed as incapable of solving this economic hardship. Taylor, who died in the middle of his term, but accomplished next to nothing.  And Grant, who historians say was weak and ineffectual and associated himself with dishonest men who gave him bad advice. So 3 out of 4 Presidents, or 75%, who did not hold public office were judged BY SCHOLARS AND HISTORIANS as BAD Presidents.  Conversely, of those Presidents who were rated Great or Near Great, 9 out of 9, or 100%, had prior public office experience.  Thus, 230 years of history has shown that for the highest office in the land, experience in governing counts.

Impact:

Clearly, when a US president has not been previously elected to public office we have a 75% chance of getting a BAD president.  When we have had Presidents who have held elected office, we have a 100% chance of a GREAT president.  

Sources:

Schlesinger poll, pbs.org.,  usnews.com, usatoday.com

3. Candidates for president that have not held public office have no experience in government and are unfit to be President.
Warrant:

It is dangerous for a President to take office and then learn how to govern and lead.  There is no time for on-the-job training when you are responsible for the safety and well-being of hundreds of millions of people.  Judge - would you hire an inexperienced person to perform brain surgery on you who is not even a doctor?  Then why would we want a president who has no idea how to govern and has his finger on the nuclear trigger? 

The duties of the President are spelled out in our Constitution.  Article II q\says the president’s main responsibilities are to serve as chief executor of the laws, to be commander in chief of the military, to “make treaties” with the Senate’s approval, and to appoint Supreme Court justices. The president’s job, then, largely involves knowledge of the law, particularly the Constitution; familiarity with the military; familiarity with foreign policy; and a working knowledge of how federal government operates. The best way to learn these skills is to be a politician, since a politician learns some of the skills no matter what their job is.

Impact:

An unqualified US president puts the whole world at risk. Donald Trump will be the only US president ever with no political or military experience. The impact of this is that we must require future presidential candidates to have at least some experience in governing, which can be shown by, at a minimum, holding public office.

Sources:

Politico and political writer Ari Armstrong


CON (3 arguments)

Definitions:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, an “Elected public official” is a person elected by a vote of the public to hold an office created by the Constitution or laws of a state.  This definition would not include military service as a “public office” but would include small elected offices such as County Coroner or School Board Member.

1. Presidents who have not held public office have been rated as some of our most successful Presidents.
Warrant:

Dwight Eisenhower never held public office before becoming President and is regarded as one of the top 10 Presidents of all time. According to the Schlesinger Poll of presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated as the 10th greatest president by presidential historians and scholars.  Prior to his presidency, he had no experience as a politician and had never been elected to a public office. However, Eisenhower obtained a truce in the Korean War and worked to ease the tensions of the Cold War during his terms as president. Not only that, but the economy boomed in the late 1950s, growing by 37% under his leadership. At the end of the decade, the median American family had 30% more purchasing power than at the beginning. Inflation, which had wreaked havoc on the economy immediately after World War II, was minimal, in part because of Eisenhower's persistent efforts to balance the federal budget.

Impact:

If we have had this limitation in the 1950s, great presidents like President Eisenhower, would never have been president.  This could have potentially changed the outcome of wars and the economy for the worse.  

Sources:

The White House

2. Requiring Presidential candidates to have held elected public office is Unconstitutional and not worthy of an Amendment to the Constitution.
Warrant:

The Framers of our Constitution did not want this limitation on our Presidents, and our Constitution has served our country well for 230 years. 

The founders of our country did not want to discourage any potential candidate for presidency because they knew that truly great leaders come from all walks of life.The Founders understood that we need to keep our election system open to anyone who could be a great leader.  Indeed, the Constitutional Framers did not put many limitations on who could run for the office of the President, only age and residency requirements.  The Constitution says: “No person except a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.” So even in the Constitution, there is no mention of the requirement to be an elected public official OR even to have any prior experience in anything at all.

Impact:

This minimal candidacy requirement has served our country well for 230 years and should not be changed now. The PRO will have to prove that the results of non-publically elected officials are so bad that you would go through the full extent of amending the Constitution.

Sources:

The US Constitution, Article II

3. A requirement like this would ruin our democracy.
Warrant:

Part of democracy is being allowed to vote for whoever you want. If we limit the people you can vote for, we are taking away the people’s freedom of choice which is an important part of our democracy. There are people that think presidents should have been elected to public office before, and those people can vote for candidates who have been elected to public office. However, if the majority of the population votes for a candidate that has not been elected to public office, that candidate should be president, since that is the way democracy works. We shouldn't discriminate based on gender or race, and we shouldn’t discriminate based on prior experience, because no one can know ahead of time whether someone has enough experience and will be a good president or not. According to The Atlantic Magazine, starting in 1996, presidential candidates with more experience consistently begin to lose.  And that makes sense: As voters have grown angrier with government, they have become more receptive to outsiders. Republicans, in general, are especially angry with government, so since 1980 their presidential candidates have had, on average, three to four years’ less experience than the Democrats’ candidates.

Impact:

By making this requirement a law, we are discriminating against those who have not had previous political experience.  We are also discriminating against those  with other areas of leadership and expertise (such as business or the military) to run for president.