Pretending that the collusion between big business and government doesn’t exist, Mitt Romney has moved to amend the U. S. Constitution to require that eligible candidates for president have at least three years of business experience:
Speaking at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Governor Mitt Romney decided to share an idea with his audience——an idea calling for a constitutional amendment requiring that a three year business background be required as a prerequisite for becoming President of the United States.
“I was speaking with one of these business owners who owns a couple of restaurants in town. And he said ‘You know I’d like to change the Constitution, I’m not sure I can do it,’ he said. ‘I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.'”
To drive home the validity of the point, Romney added –
“You see then he or she would understand that the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business, make it easier for business to grow.”
This is, of course, nothing more than a direct attack on Barack Obama. Had Romney been running against, say, Warren Buffett, such a point would be superfluous. The former Bain Capital CEO is attempting to ride his business experience, something his opponent lacks, to the White House – perhaps not a bad tactic politically, given the state of the economy, but intellectually dishonest nonetheless. The error lies in the presupposition that there exists in businessmen any inherent quality that better conditions them for the office of the President.
Romney’s proposed requirement would have disqualified one of American history’s most iconic figures, Abraham Lincoln, as well as the modern Republican Party’s hero, Ronald Reagan, who’s closest relationship with business was his presidency of a labor union. By contrast, it would not have been a constraint for Reagan’s first Democrat opponent, Jimmy Carter, who was a successful farmer but – and I’m sure Romney would agree – a terrible president.