We've had some very interesting professions transition into US politics.
Ronald Reagan -- actor turned governor turned president
Jessie Ventura -- wrestler turned governor
Al Franken -- political comedian turned senator
Ahnold -- actor (Terminator) turned governor
John Glenn -- astronaut turned senator
Kevin Johnson -- basketball player turned mayor
In California, we have the founder of ebay (Meg Whitman) running for governor and Carly Fiorina, former head of HP running for senator. The message here is business experience is important.
There are many more examples (feel free to name your faves).
There are obviously advantages to being an "insider" and to being an "outsider" in politics.
What background do YOU think is most suitable for someone running for state governor? How about for president?
There really isn't any "background" that makes one into a super governor or president. There are helpful things. One would be that the person is not born into wealth and has never had it in any great amounts. But that's only vaguely helpful.
What presidents and governors mostly need to know, is to understand the effect of governance upon the people they govern. This means not just having "experience" at business management, but understanding how people react, what they do when they react, and how those things affects everyone else. It is not a simple "x plus y equals z" type of equation.
Perhaps we can best explain it, by providing an example of the worst kind. Obama. Obama's background was that for all of his childhood, he was raised in broken families, most outside the country, and never as any functional or productive situation. His youth was spent doing drugs and goofing off, hanging around the other malcontents who brainwashed themselves into thinking their crazy ideas and ideologies were what would save the nation. They were the self professed "smart kids" who lived off trust funds and other people's money, and yet, hated the world around them.
Since then, Obama has never had a position of productivity. He has never built anything, has never done anything useful, has no experience in business, economics, finance, nor anything else that would expose him to the normal workings of everyday Americans. He's never been a leader of people, he has never been responsible to accomplish anything, and has never experienced the educational aspects of try, fail, learn, try, fail, learn, try again that most of us have gone through and have taught us to be prudent, frugal, careful, and can predict the outcome of situations, based upon much experience and observation.
Thus, Obama is utterly clueless. But he doesn't know that. He still believes that the radical ideas and silly nonsense from those he has hung around are actually wise and effective. Thus, he is completely unable to recognize his failures to lead, he doesn't know how to DO anything, and thus has done nothing good, and yet, still continues to talk the game, as if somehow he's the paragon of wisdom.
Contrast that with someone who grew up in a middle class family, has been part of the famly business, be it a farm or sales or making something. Who went to school, took it seriously and understood how to apply what he learned academically to what he already observed in business and in relationships between people and entities. Then, found his talents and used them to make his own mark in the world.
I could have told you Obama would be abject disaster, simply by his history. Many tried. Now wer're stuck with the most incompetent president of our lifetime, during the time when we need a good one more than at any time since FDR (who was also seriously incompetent).
Sadly, I don't believe that the criteria for being electable (i.e. popular and/or good looking on TV) is the same criteria for being a good leader (i.e. making sure that you do what you know is right, and still take the peoples' will into consideration. Casting a realistic and still idealistic vision and inspiring people to follow through on it.)
I think people should have to show competence in whatever job they are given an opportunity to apply for ... elections are about raising and spending money, not about showing ability to govern.
The short answer is ... it doesn't matter, because the ability to fund raise is more important than the ability to govern.
Misha -- Zinger! That was priceless! Thanks for the laugh .
BDazzler -- So basically what you are saying is what is bothering me SO much about the current CA governor election.
It's entirely possible to buy the office.
And what does it say about our values (not our "family" values but our personal values) that we rate candidates on how good looking they are on TV or their YouTube videos?
That is just so wrong on so many levels!
Thanks, guys, for answering. I think I'm gonna go back and talk about kids' breakfast cereals now. At least it doesn't make me depressed!
Well, theoretically, since these people were CEO's they at least have SOME leadership experience. (As opposed to say, Ahnold )...
So, I would say that, while yes, it's possible to buy an election (in fact, that's about the only way to get elected) at least they have SOME leadership experience at something.
What you really want to do for the CEO/Founder types is take a look at the companies and ask yourself honestly, is that the type of place I would like to work?
If the answer is yes, then, you've got a better chance at good government than you have with Conan the Barbarian.
Personally, it seems to me that Carly Fiorina should run for Governor and Meg Whitman should run for senator.
The business experience of a head of a business is more like governing and pursuing a new idea to completion is more valuable in legislation.
Since these two are presumably running on their own dime, it is unlikely that they will be as easily influenced by lobbyists. On the other hand, since they don't need anything from anybody, it is possible that they can disregard the will of the people.
Sadly, there's not a good answer.
Don't forget Fred Thompson.
My favorite old-guy actor/politician.
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