Letter to the Editor

Editorial sparks debate over candidate qualifications

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To the Editor: What are the qualifications to be President?

The editorial dated oct. 22 in the Clay County Democrat questioning Sarah Palin's qualifications for the vice-presidency is an excellent example of irresponsible journalism. I did not detect one positive statement regarding Sarah Palin. The entire editorial was so negative that I decided to provide some balance.

If my memory is correct, and I think it is, back in 1992 our editor had nothing but praise and admiration for Bill Clinton, who was not any more qualified then than Sarah Palin is now. The editor quoted a newspaper columnist that referred to Sarah Palin as Sarah Six-Pack. He was placing Sarah Palin in with the simple-minded, shallow crowd of U.S. citizens commonly referred to as "rednecks." Admittedly the editor was quoting another columnist, but he must be in complete agreement with the article because he did not indicate otherwise. Seems to me a bit scurrilous.

Concerning qualifications, I have never seen a list of experiences that establishes the qualifications a candidate should possess. Some of the best and worst presidents we have ever had were previously governors of their respective states. (Teddy Roosevelt-Jimmy Carter.) Some of the best and worst were formerly United States Senators (John Kennedy-Warren Harding). Some of the best and worst were previously military commanders (Dwight Eisenhower-William Harrison).

The point is that all the above provides great experiences, but none will prepare you for the presidency. The characteristic that makes a good President is if he or she is a strong leader rather than a weak one.

Example: Abe Lincoln never held any of the about positions, but was a strong leader. Sarah Palin impresses me as being very strong. In fact she far exceeds Barack Obama in that category. A Senator that has voted present as many times as Obama has rather than take a "yea" or "nay" stand shows weakness.

Finally, regarding Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama, I think most folks, whether they be Democrat or Republican, understand where that comes from. Anyone with one eye and common sense can figure that one.

In addition, you folks that are so adamantly opposed to the war against terrorists may say what you will about George Bush, but he has kept you safe since September 2001. Better to be fighting over there than here at home.

Whew, barely made it below the 400 word limit.

Sonny Brown

Rector