Average Joe should not be president

November 20, 2008 — by Girish Swaminath

Sarah Palin: an average blue-collar hockey/soccer mom, a PTA president and a parent of five kids. Could she really have been vice president of one of the world’s largest leading powers with her lack of qualifications?

Palin clearly served as an example of the “average Joe” and proved that commonfolk cannot assume the huge responsibility of running the United States. She demonstrated that “Average Joes” possess an enormous lack of political experience and education necessary for the American presidency to make informed decisions for the benefit of the country. The president has no room for mistakes at all—he or she must have the ability to solve international and domestic problems in the quickest and most pragmatic way possible.

Average Joes may have realized the economic situations of the status quo, but do they really know how to deal with actual financial problems? Although a commonfolk president may manage a cabinet of advisors, he or she would have no idea of what bills to approve or disapprove and how to balance the federal budget adequately. There are several issues to be considered when making a decision, and if all issues aren’t accounted for, then the decision made would be a poor one.

For example, the Bush administration immediately entered the war on Iraq, without fully considering the loss of innumerable lives and the cost of military action. As an Average Joe, Bush made an extremely terrible choice for the country, which proves a lot about the disadvantages associated with having a less intelligent as president.

Moreover, Average Joes can be utterly clueless in terms of dealing with foreign nations, including both allies and foes, as a result of limited negotiation and persuasion skills. His or her mistakes in the foreign relations areas (such as taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or Indian-Pakistani fighting) may even make our allies countries feel angry at the United States.

Average Joes aren’t fit for the presidency because they might lead the country in a downward spiral and lack the necessary experience and education important to keep the success of the country.

The best presidents have a lot of experience and knowledge of domestic and foreign situations, not just experiences in their own small towns. Former President Bill Clinton brought the United States economy to a surplus from a devastated financial situation after the Gulf War. He helped to establish the U.S. as a global leader. Likewise, Barack Obama, an intellectual and deep thinker, stands a better chance of succeeding than any Average Joe.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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