It Makes A Strange Sort of Sense

editorial-logo3Though the 2014 election cycle is still some months away, it is quickly becoming time for interested candidates to pick up petitions. Perhaps I live a sheltered life, but I was not aware that in order to hold some of the highest offices in the County, State and Nation all that is required is that candidates have a clean record, not owe the government money and live in the required area for the required amount of time. Oh yeah, age appears to be a concern for some offices. Apparently, a candidate can be totally uneducated, as long as they managed to survive on this earth for 25, 30 or 35 years, depending on which office is sought. I don’t know why I am surprised that the qualifications for Constable are more stringent than those for any other national, state or local office, save the school board or the sheriff which have like requirements, and excepting those dealing with judicial seats. This explains a lot.

Although the requirements to hold most elected positions are bucket scraping minimal, as in anyone breathing and receiving mail in the correct location can run for office, it should go without saying that not everyone should run for elected positions. Perhaps what we need is a little self imposed, or voter imposed, qualification upgrades. While it is generally noble to want to serve the community, if a candidate has never had any experience with a budget then elected office is probably a stretch. Likewise, those that believe that they know more than they really do should probably take a pass on running for office. If a candidate is not sure if they fall into this category, then I would suggest asking your neighbors for a little clarification. I am sure that they will gladly identify the know it all that knows very little in their community.

It is unrealistic to believe that a candidate must be free of a personal agenda make a good elected official. The truth is that most candidates have a reason that they are interested in holding office and, sometimes, that can make them a committed elected official. The question should be does this candidate’s agenda benefit the community or just the candidate themselves? And voters should carefully consider the answer.

Does it require a college degree to be a good elected official? Absolutely not. But it does require some real life experience and the ability to approach issues logically and to interact with the public and other elected officials. Above all, it requires that the candidate have a loyalty to his community, County, State and Nation. And let’s be honest, the more powerful the position, the greater the educational and experience requirements should be. We no longer live in the day and age where people can find a job without a high school diploma or GED. Our criteria for candidacy should reflect the world that we live in now, not where we were 100 years ago. When the qualifications for Constable far exceed that of almost all County, State and National elected officials, there is something seriously wrong with the process. But, considering some of the decisions of our elected officials lately, it does make a strange sort of sense, doesn’t it?

Source: K. Depew, News Director