Let’s Have Some Standards Here

Is it really unconstitutional to require a presidential candidate to provide tax returns if (s)he wants to get on the ballot? How many of the people suing over California’s new law requiring presidential candidates to provide tax returns to get on the ballot have read the Constitution?

OK, I realize that’s not a fair question. Practically no one reads the Constitution. Heck, I haven’t even read all of it and I’m the foremost authority on anything that I can look up on the Internet.

Here’s what it says about presidential elections: “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors …”

In other words, states don’t have to have open presidential elections at all. Legislators can do whatever they want. The primary presidential election is part of the state’s process of choosing electors. Constitutional case closed.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the president last week also oddly claimed his First Amendment rights were being violated — by not being allowed not to speak about something.

Drugs come with required warning labels — politicians should, too.

If free speech is the problem, then we all get to be on the ballot. And you thought the Democratic horde was ridiculous.

It’s not an equal protection issue, either — the law applies to all candidates. Whose fault is it that just one of them has a problem with this?

Not everyone has the right to be on a ballot — you have to have some standards.

In fact, it seems to me there ought to be a lot more standards. I’ve suggested some of these before — basic IQ, some demonstration of knowledge, psychiatric exams. If nothing else, a would-be president ought to be able to pass a multiple choice test on stuff that presidents do.

But considering the, um, interesting president we have now and the mob of random Democratic candidates lining up to challenge him, some stricter standards could clarify things.

I have a few suggestions.

Twitter skills. These should include a working knowledge of memes, gifs, threads, and knitware. (If you can’t spot the one I made up, you’re disqualified as a candidate.) All candidates must be required to submit their full, unredacted Twitter history.

Dance moves. This may sound trivial, but reflect on past presidential dance floor gaffes in foreign countries. I know I speak for the majority of this country when I say we’d love to see a dance-off at the next Democratic debate. Picture it.

Investment strategy. Would-be presidents should provide a full financial history. A candidate, in theory, should demonstrate an ability to handle money and avoid running businesses into the ground — although some candidates may consider the latter to be a qualification for the job.

Dating history. Candidates must list all ex-boy/girl/nonbinary friends along with flirtations, surprise touchings, nude and/or party photos, secret crushes, restraining orders and lawsuits. All nondisclosure agreements must be disclosed. If anyone has been ghosted, we have a right to know why.

Strategic skill. All candidates must participate in televised games, including Risk, Settlers of Catan and Mass Effect, to demonstrate strategic, creative and diplomatic skills. A poker game requiring campaign funds should also efficiently reduce the field.

Promises. Candidates must provide a complete and accurate checklist of campaign promises with little boxes next to each one so we can all keep track if they win. If the winning candidate runs for reelection, (s)he must provide reasons for unboxed previous-campaign promises so that we can assess creativity and excuse-making skills.

%d bloggers like this: