To the Editor,

The framers of our nation’s “by the people” pledge leading to our election process made a critical error in defining qualifications to run for president that is …be a natural born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old and been a resident for 14 years. Of course, they couldn’t envision the complexity of presiding over the growth from 13 colonies to 50 states, each with their own unique features. The most difficult job in the world is then relegated to those who are orators first and people of substance second.

Governing fairly for the common good, like any complex leadership position, is not something we are born with. Our life experiences mold our abilities to lead and coordinate the “by the people, for the people pledge” across our entire population regardless of ethnicity. A better model would follow similar paths to selecting leaders in education, military, and corporations, but especially in city, state, and federal government…all of which requires experience in coordinating and directing complex policies.

Our best leaders have had a solid understanding of our history, our constitution, and how our government functions. It matters less how that was attained but actual experience is far more valuable than formal education. This bottom up approach allows all people to qualify under stricter criteria so the general population can have faith in.

Sounds hard but if candidates had to pass the same tests immigrants must pass to become citizens it would provide some assurance they understood the job before they run for office. The training materials  and tests are already in place to serve as a base. Any person with ambitions for high public office should welcome such an opportunity to separate themselves from those who do not qualify.

Lee Purrier

Park Rapids, Minn.