I’ve been recently pondering the idea of “qualifications”. Mostly what we expect from professionals we pay for service. Like hair stylist, manicurist, dog groomer. Did you know that those folks need to be licensed by the state? What about nursing home owners, morticians, cemetery owners? Of course, all drivers. Auto, truck, train, boat, bus, airplane. They all need special training and licensing.
When we shell out hard earned money for service, we expect competent, intelligent, well trained individuals.
There’s another layer of service providers for whom more training, more education, more experience, and ongoing “continuing education” is mandatory. Yup, physicians, surgeons, dentists, lawyers, nurses, nurse practitioners, veterinarians, and many others.
What does this mean? My own example: When I applied for nursing school, I needed transcripts from high school and college, work history, family history, and a thorough interview—at which, the admissions director was reluctant to accept me. I made a solid case for accepting my application and she agreed. I graduated on the honor roll and then, with GREAT preparation and angst passed the all-day state board of nursing exam. In order to maintain my license, I required a number of hours of continuing education. And no breeches of professional conduct. (At my last job I even needed fingerprinting.) I don’t consider myself qualified for any elected office outside my small village.
So here’s my question: why in the name of all that is holy do we not have requirements for our elected officials?? At least on the Federal level. Could we not expect a minimum level of competence?
-High school diploma
-some higher education
– qualifying work experience, i.e. working in public service, military service, law, government, international studies, education.
-a working knowledge of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the three branches of government.
I’d also suggest: a pre-employment physical by a government physician, likewise, a psychiatric exam, and criminal background check.
Real Estate, Fast food, Petrochemical, rich donors, jewelry designers, family members probably do not qualify to be Federal employees.
Before we tumble any deeper into the current political rabbit hole, maybe our elected representatives could put together some meaningful requirements for Congress to establish.
I don’t think that’s asking too much. How about you?