Somewhere around the turn of the century (the latest turn) pollsters and “news” reporters started asking people which presidential candidate they would “prefer to have a beer with”.
I confess that I come from a generation in which the drinking qualification for the highest office in the land was not considered a factor. I thought maybe life experience should matter. Empathy. How about intellect or intelligence? Maybe previous service in the military or as a community organizer? Someone who had “gravitas”. But that seems to have changed.
What would the “Founding Fathers ” say about this? What did they think were the necessary qualifications for a chief executive? The Constitution is clear. A certain age, a citizen, not much else. But, as with so many things in life, I was mistaken. It seems the Founding Fathers had more to say on the issue.
There is the old Tavern in NY city where the patriots used to meet. Recently, one of the Guatemalan illegal immigrants sweeping up at night found weathered, dogeared piece of paper stuck to the bottom of a bar stool with chewing tobacco. It has been authenticated by top Fox Entertainment experts as the real thing. It dates from the days of the Founding Fathers.
Evidently this old document was SUPPOSED to be part of the original Constitution. Sadly it was lost or misplaced, perhaps during one of the many drinking parties and barroom brawls of the old Whigs. It clarified exactly what the qualifications should be for the President of the United States. Take a gander.
This is how Article 2, Clause 5 looks today:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
However, the following “lost clauses” were supposed to be added:
“No person shall be elected to the Office of the President who has not the ability to consume one half a hogshead of hard cider within the time of 3 hours and who, within such time, shall not be required to visit the latrine more than thrice. In addition;
“Such person shall have be of high moral character and as such shall not have on his or her plantation more than 5 slave children who bear a remarkable resemblance to such a person, nor shall such a person whip his slaves more than twice in any fortnight. In addition;
“Such person shall have the ability to load and fire a muzzle loading weapon at least thrice within a time frame of 5 minutes and shall be able, at a range of 50 paces or more , to use such weaponry to hit the broad side of a barn. In addition;
“Such person shall have had no physical contact with or been alone with any livestock , including but not limited to hogs, sheep, poultry of all kinds and horses, unless such a person find himself alone and at least 6 miles from the nearest brothel. In addition, finally;
“No person shall be qualified for the high office of President until such person shall be declared having the mental age greater than that of the Hamadryas Baboon and be so certified by 2 astrologers and one bloodletting physician.”
I think we need to go back to the original intent of the Founding Fathers and eliminate a number …well, perhaps ALL, the current crop of candidates for the most important job on Earth.
(Source of the story about the lost document: I overheard a guy say his cousin talked to a guy who was watching TV and thought someone mentioned something about it. Good enough for me).