There are many professions in this world that require a person to receive training. Before you can become a doctor you are expected to have a medical degree and to have met the licensing requirements. Lawyers must obtain an advanced degree and then pass the bar. Teachers are required obtain a degree, complete a period of supervised student teaching, and then pass a licensing test. Even a person who is hired to manage a fast food restaurant has an expectation that they have spent time on a career path that built their experience in the industry before they acquire the position of manager.
To me it has always seemed appropriate that positions that are not generally considered entry level require more qualifications. Whereas jobs that are considered gateway positions have fewer expectations attached. Employees who take an entry level job are often trained as they go. They learn about the nuts and bolts of the day to day operations of a company as they build experience and knowledge on the job. These employees through years of learning the ropes move up into positions that are more qualification intensive, the management positions.
Color me surprised when it struck me recently that the office of the president of the United States was actually an entry level position. For years I had been under the impression that the people who held that job should have some experience. While I am familiar with the qualifications as expressed in the constitution:
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.
It never occurred to me that someone with absolutely experience in government could actually step into that position.
For all intents and purposes, the Tangerine has the same level of government experience as the guy who greets me as I walk through the doors of my local shopping center (aka NADA, ZILCH, NONE). Come to think of it, the greeter has at least some experience in diplomacy, as he has to deal with a broad variety of patrons from day to day and ensure that they feel welcome. Whereas the Tangerine has the last two decades proving to the world that he excels at being an obtrusive jackass with the ability to spout off the words, “your fired” with a contrived and practiced tone. This does not inspire confidence in his ability to navigate the complexities of governmental negotiations.
Each and every day we see his on-the-job training failing us. He spouts off on Twitter about things that no President should be airing publicly. He embarrasses the people of this country routinely with his absence of grammar, vocabulary, and a general understanding of syntax. We are exposed to ridicule as we live though his lack of knowledge of basic civics. During the campaign he was asked if he had ever read the constitution. Personally I would love to take that further and question the grades he achieved in high school government and history classes. He seems to have zero understanding of the idea of the three branch system and approaches the job as if he were the CEO with ultimate authority.
His shortage of understanding of the branches of government was put openly on display today with the release of the verdict from the 9th circuit court. The CEO responded by ranting and showing his arse on Twitter. He spouted off a few times and closed with a tweet delivered entirely in capital letters. Through his lapse of judgment (although it is getting harder to call these lapses, as I have yet to see him utilize good judgement), he demonstrated to the world that he doesn’t understand that he is not the be all, end all, decision maker for this country.
This gets me thinking though. If we are going to start treating the office of the president as if it were an entry-level position, isn’t it time we institute a probationary period. It would be relatively simple to put in place. For every year of experience in governmental positions we knock some time off of the probationary period. I am not even looking for congressional level experience. Even basic city council or perhaps state representative would be preferable to train as you go. Hell I’d settle for school board member. Something, anything, with some kind of knowledge and training on the operations of government would be preferable to this.