Bad candidates make election process a circus

By Taurean Small

I will not tip-toe around this topic by explaining how character and “realness” makes for a good governor or mayor. Instead I am going to tell you the truth. Politics is not for everyone.

Many of you may not know this but right now I am eligible to run for mayor of Chicago. Boy, did I work hard to qualify for that! Unfortunately, as much as I would like to be the mayor of a city, we all know I am not ready to take on that task. First I would probably need to become a bodybuilder, develop a weird accent, and maybe star in a few movies. By then I will probably be overqualified. Well, at least I can run California.

Before I am attacked by the only two Northern Star readers who actually voted for “The Governator,” allow me to explain my beef with politics of today.

It seems like running for public office is a birthright and requires no added effort. I would imagine voters would like to elect people who are well-learned in public service. Or maybe elect someone who has not had a reality show. But in reality, some voters ignorantly elect candidates based on their personality instead of their credentials. What’s worse is the new waves of “politicians” are becoming more or less under-qualified to run their mouths let alone a city or state.

Example number one: ex-boyfriend of Bristol Palin (former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin‘s daughter), Levi Johnston. Although he has not officially entered the mayoral race of Wasilla, Alaska just yet, Johnston announced his plans to start campaigning soon. When asked about his platform on the ABC’s “The View,” Johnston said, “At this point in time, I couldn’t tell you.” Despite humiliating himself in front of an unforgiving audience, he still had faith in himself as a politician by stating, “There really are [no qualifications for mayor].” As embarrassing as his interview was, Johnston’s lack of a platform makes him a better candidate than the next example.

Example number two: candidate for the New York gubernatorial election, Jim McMillan. McMillan, founder of The Rent Is Too Damn High political party, has been making his presence known in this year’s election for state governor.

During a debate, McMillan turned a seemingly legitimate gubernatorial discussion into a Saturday Night Live sketch by constantly invoking laughter from the audience. But arguably, his eccentric platform was not the biggest joke of the night, because front-runners Andrew M. Cuomo and Carl Paladino were the least memorable from the debate.

After looking at the comedy Johnston and McMillan bring to the plate, you might think that strict qualifications are in order. But Michael Clark, associate professor of political science, refutes on how undemocratic that process would be.

“The current list of qualifications might be rather minimal but this represents the more open “democratic” approach to candidate selection, and again, if voters are well-read, they should easily see who is not worth their time,” Clark said. He added that the reason inexperienced candidates do so well is because they have powerful interests backing them.

It is actually scary to think that Johnston and McMillan can be some of America’s future leaders. Considering I do not pay rent, I probably will not be able to relate with Mr. McMillan.

But if having a strong opinion about anything can assure me a spot in the 2014 gubernatorial elections, I am officially announcing my campaign for “The Room and Board in College, Although I Am Getting Student Loans, Is Too Damn High Party.”