Isn’t It Time?

With the recent display of ignorance of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence demonstrated by Michele Bachmann, John Boehner, Herman Cain, and Sarah Palin—admittedly all Republicans but that’s really immaterial (I’m sure there are Democrats who fall into the
same category), isn’t it time for the voters to demand that candidates running for political office at least know what’s in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and have some basic knowledge of United States and world history? How about a simple test—constructed by a bipartisan group of history and political science professors—that candidates would have to take? There need not be a pass or fail or even a grade assigned, but the questions and the candidates’ answers would be published for all to see. Don’t we as voters have a right to know what these candidates know and what they don’t know? We demand that accountants, doctors, police officers, lawyers, and a host of other professional people in this country take tests as part of their admission to their jobs.  Why shouldn’t we expect that of politicians as well? Then, the voters—after reading their responses—can make up their own minds as to whether or not they wish to vote for them.
     It’s a simple idea that might even encourage candidates to actually read the Constitution, for example, and to brush up on United States history. More important, it would weed out people who are simply unqualified to hold political office.

1 comment:

CR Joe said...

Much as I like you idea, I disagree. The cure for ignorant politicians in an informed electorate that holds them accountable and is careful about who it elects. We may be in a bit of trouble in terms of the "informed electorate" part, and that also points to problems with our educational system. Still, the main qualification for office in a democracy is that the people elect you ...