Friday, September 5, 2008

Qualifications for Public Service

When my son was in high school, his guidance counselor told me that he ought to run for public office. He could get elected to anything.

You have to know my son. He is of average height or just a hair shorter. At that time he had blond hair, eyes as blue as an Irish lake, and a grin that would not quit. He "cleaned up good", was personable, and carried an air of optimism with him. All wonderful qualifications for a candidate for any political office.

But when I queried the counselor about his fitness to serve, he countered, "It takes a whole different set of qualifications to do the job."

I think probably we've forgotten that what we're seeking in a chief executive is a candidate who can fill the requirements of the office. The presidency of the United States is a tough act.

You need someone who
  1. has the courage of his convictions
  2. is able to see the big picture
  3. and can coordinate the execution of government in all its facets.

Conversely, the requirements for a political candidate seem to be

  1. great rhetoric
  2. charismatic personality
  3. and the ability to stir people to action.

Personally, I'd like to see our country think beyond the hype and hyperbole in this election year. We need to exercise sober judgment when we cast our ballots in November. And it wouldn't hurt to make our decision the object of prayer as well.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obama - Palin - Equally Inexperienced?

All the news this week has been politics - culminated by the choice of John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin.

An exchange between one newsperson and a McCain representative surprised me greatly. The newsperson became agitated and exasperated because the McCain representative would not concede that the choice of Sarah Palin would undercut the Republicans criticism of Barack Obama's inexperience. The newsperson's reaction smacked of desperation.

The difference, I believe, lies in the fact that Obama's experience is in the legislative branch of government, while Palin's lies in the executive.

In the famous words of Harry Truman, "the buck stops here." Any executive worth his/her salt knows that truth.

While Sarah Palin's resume is not long in years, it is replete with accomplishment. And those accomplishments lie in the fiscal area, trimming governmental pork barrels, instituting the general "household" economies that every good wife and mother knows how to live by.

It's long past time that Washington learned the truths we little people live with everyday. You can't spend more than you make. If you borrow, you need to have a repayment plan with a specific ending date.

When you buy a house, you get a mortgage for anything between fifteen and thirty years. But you don't buy a house every year. And when you buy a new house, it's because you have sold the other one and eliminated that debt.

For years, our federal government has been buying goods and services and not paying for them, just putting them on the tab. And some of the bloated prices we've paid for goods and services are obscene.

It's high time someone cleaned house fiscally. Personally, I think the McCain-Palin ticket can do that.