24 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #473: Let the Trump Resound?

If you owned a company, and you were to give a job in your company to someone who had no business experience, would you hire him to be the CEO? The average person would agree that it makes much more sense to give this inexperienced applicant an entry-level position, and allow him to rise only so high as his ability takes him. In fact, the average person likely feels that this principle of starting-at-the-bottom-and-working-one’s-way-to-the-top applies to pretty much any other field of endeavor, except politics; people seem to feel that the most important job in the entire country, that of president of the USA, is a suitable one for an amateur!
It could be that an extraordinarily gifted person need not be a professional politician to make a good US president (although it must be said that the record of our chief executives who had not previously held public office, i.e., those whose only prior leadership experience was as generals, does not inspire confidence); regardless, we ought not to spurn a worthy candidate just because he is an office-holder. If someone who is honest and competent learns early that he has a talent for public service, why should he not devote his life to it?
The (re)current popular revulsion against “career politicians”, therefore, which is thought to be a chief reason for the rise of political outsiders like Donald Trump, Dr. Carson, and Carly Fiorina, is wrongheaded, though understandable in view of US history. (Anyway, if we're so cynical about our political system that we think that only someone from outside it can set things right, we ought to admit that the "American experiment" has failed, and revert to colonial status.)
It could even have the opposite of the intended effect: it is ominously akin to the desire for “change” that in 2008 helped to turn Obama, the presidential-candidate from Hell, into the President-elect from Hell.