Doug Smith: Age and Experience

6 Feb


Doug Smith: Author, Historian and lead contributor to Free State Patriot


One of the (many, and legitimate) criticisms of Obama is his lack of experience before taking the Presidency. Many are leveling the same criticism at the top 4 GOP candidates for the replacement. It is worth noting that despite many with a great deal of experience, the folks are choosing people they think would do a better job without the experience of say, a Chris Christie or a Jeb Bush.  The founders did not include a requirement of political experience for the Presidency. Only age (which ostensibly equates to experience and wisdom, but then, they never met Donald Trump) and citizenship (which ostensibly equates to interest and loyalty to the nation, but again, they never met Barack Obama).


Ought we to add to the requirements a demonstrated time of successful public service? Then a back bencher, who had the Gallipoli disaster on his resume, could never have become the Churchill who saved England. Perhaps it is more the nature of one’s experience that matters. Demonstrably, community organizing, encouraging riots and civil disobedience, orchestrating shakedowns of successful businesses, do not equate to preparation to lead a nation. While a failed shopkeeper may learn from his mistakes enough to lead an Army to victory and a nation to begin rebuilding.
Ought we to raise the minimum age, noting that 35 was well into the last quarter of life in the 1780s? Well, perhaps, but age, as we can well note, does not always denote wisdom or ability. Certain it is that not all our elders are men of vision or wisdom. How do we choose leaders that will make us better off than we were, who will keep us safe, who will increase our freedoms and not become tyrants?
Chances are, we will do none of these things. For we are of an era who chooses our leaders by the mob, as led by the most successful demagogues. And who has the courage to oppose the mob?
Mr. Churchill did, and the mob threw him under the double decker bus as soon as their need for a war time leader was past.

Do we have leaders of such vision, who, knowing the will lead the people through a crisis, and then be left behind, will lead anyway? How do we as a people choose to delegate our personal power into political power to leaders of wisdom and prudence?  How do we function as a free people, and not as a mob?
Free people stood toe to toe with the British Army and forged a nation. Free people carved out a government that set the stage for the most successful nation in history. The mob?
The mob is Robespierre, the French Terror, and the Guillotine.  The mob is Ferguson. The mob is Baltimore. The mob is Melissa Glick, the Mizzou prof who assaulted a student reporter and called, like some drug addled Marc Antony for the mob to come and complete her work.   The mob is senseless violence, soiling one’s own nest, turning on one’s own, for imagined slights and a sense of entitlement. Barack Obama depends on the mob for his leadership.

The survivors of Lexington and Concord did not expect anyone to give them anything. They did demand to be left alone to pursue their business and make their lives. They formed a government for mutual defense and common cause, to have life, liberty, and to pursue, each in his own way, and with his own effort, happiness.
If we are to be a free people, we must choose leaders who are committed to leading a free people. If we choose the loudest voice in the mob, we will become the mob. Or its victims.

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