Photo by Michael Vadon
It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. It was a laudable experiment in egalitarianism, but it clearly has run its course. Times have changed.
The visionary framers of the US Constitution intentionally set a very low bar when it comes to job qualifications for being President. Article II, Section 1 says “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.”
The most shocking omission here is that there is no penis test. Those who voted for who gets to hold this esteemed office were Constitutionally required to be in possession of penis. But apparently having a penis was never a requirement for seeking or holding the office. It must have been an oversight, unless the framers just assumed that penis possession was an implied qualification. How absurd to assume otherwise. Everywhere else in Article II the President is referred to with he/him pronouns.
The visionary framers probably made it ridiculously easy to run for President so as to preserve the American dream that anybody can rise to the height of heights if they have determination and drive and white skin and a penis (implied).
However, there are two things the framers could never have foreseen: nuclear missiles and Trump. The framers may have been visionary, but they weren’t on acid.
There has to be something to stop any old bozo from running. I believe it’s time to amend the Constitution to require that anyone seeking the office of President has to have at least the tiniest damn clue what being President is all about. I propose that we add a twenty-eighth amendment to the Constitution. This amendment would add these words to the end of Article II, Section 1: “ Oh and also, no person shall be eligible to the office of President unless they have at least the tiniest damn clue what being President is all about.”
Each candidate would have to pass a basic test to prove that they indeed have at least the tiniest damn clue what being President is all about. In order to salvage what we still can of the framers’ egalitarian experiment, the test can be really easy. For example, this could be a U.S. history question: The Canadians bombed Pearl Harbor. True or false?
Candidates would also have to have at least the tiniest damn clue about how the economy works, too. The test could have one of those word problems like we all had on our grade school math tests. Something like: Joe lives in Ohio. He earns $7.25 an hour and lives in his car. Joe would like a raise to $8 an hour. But Republicans say people like him make too much money as it is and are hurting the economy. Please explain how the hell anyone earning $7.25 an hour can possibly be making too much money?
It will take a monumental grassroots effort to make the 28th Amendment a glorious reality. The Republican party will resist with all its might.
But think about it this way. If the 28th Amendment had been in place long ago long ago, we wouldn’t have had to endure G.W. Bush. Enough said?
Mike Ervin is a writer and disability rights activist living in Chicago. He blogs at Smart Ass Cripple, "expressing pain through sarcasm since 2010."