Okay, before you start throwing out John Kennedy, I will say there are a few rare but notable exceptions, but read on:

If the United States government was a business, it would be the largest business in the country by far.  It would have a budget that eclipses every other business, and in fact, every other business combined.  No other business deals in trillions of dollars; not even Microsoft, Facebook and Intel combined.

The U.S. government isn’t a business.  But what if it was run like a business?  If it had to be run like a business it would’ve gone bankrupt a long time ago.  No other business can print money.  If the government had to live within its means how different would things be?

What does it take to be a Congressmen or Senator?  Not much, nor should it be.  The concept of the congress was that our representatives would be simple citizens, like you and me, and would control the direction of the country as any other person would do.  However, some of us don’t make good managers and some of us don’t understand balancing a checkbook.  That’s not a slam on anyone, just a fact.  It is the responsibility of the constituents in a congressional district or state to decide whether those they elect have what it takes to operate the country in a responsible manner.  Sometimes we choose well; sometimes, not so well.

Some of our Senators and Representatives have been businessmen.  Some have been doctors that ran their own practice.  Some have never ever had to manage a budget larger than their own household.  The sad fact is that most congresspersons have no experience dealing with a set budget nor have had to concern themselves with paying bills.  Many are lawyers.  Too many.  Many of them spent a few years working for someone else as junior member of a law firm and then went into politics.  Even sadder still is the fact that many have become career politicians.  Read some of Thomas Jefferson’s feelings on that matter.  Politics is not the world of reality that your average citizen lives in.  They live in a golden cage and bandy about theoretical belief-based points of view and then write a check.  Not a bad job if you can get it, especially when the check you write isn’t your own money.

Because some congresspersons have been business owners, governors or at least have a solid managerial background, the title of this post is a bit simplistic, so let me fill in a little more detail.

It is my belief that we, the American People, have a responsibility to ensure that anyone we elect to the Presidency has a solid financial background.  They should have experience running a large business, state, been a senior military officer or at a minimum have spent no less than 10 years in a senior management position in a company.  Why do I say this?  It’s really rather simple.  Managing a budget and managing a staff is not something that can be taken lightly.  As someone who has run several businesses I know I had to make a lot of mistakes before I did much right.  If I was put in control of a large corporation early in my career I shudder to think what I would’ve done to the bottom line; if I didn’t kill it completely.  My mistakes have cost me a lot of money.  Still do.  But I’m risking my own money, not that of 300,000,000 taxpayers; including those yet to come of voting age.

I did say there are exceptions.  John Kennedy was a commander of a PT boat in WWII.  He had to manage the staff and more importantly had their lives in his hands.  He proved his metal through his heroic acts after the sinking of PT-109.  His father, say what you will about him, was a very successful businessman, and there is something to be said for being tutored by someone with real world knowledge.  There are the negative exceptions as well.  Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia.  That experience certainly didn’t make him much of an executive.  So we, as citizens, still have a responsibility to assess the individual and not the title.  We have to determine not only whether they say the right words, but if they’ve performed the right actions in their life.  We have to judge whether an individual has proven their ability to run an organization before we put them in control of the world’s largest organization.  If not, we have no one else is to blame for the outcome.