The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 24, 2012

Having credentials

Bob Harper

TARBORO — I think that credentials are very important when it concerns anyone I'm going to be dealing with. If I have a plumbing problem I want the plumber that I'm doing business with to have some kind of credentials to show he knows what he's doing. He doesn't have to be a graduate from some sort of plumbing school. He could have worked as an apprentice under an experienced plumber until he learned his trade well.

However, when it comes to my doctor I do want him/her to have their medical degree from a creditable medical school, etc. The same is true with just about every profession I can think of.teachers, lawyers, dentist, you name it.

Okay, what about politicians like candidates for everything from a local town councilman on up to the president of the United States? Well, I want all of the above to have credentials, especially the president of the United States.

Does this mean I want that potential president to have some kind of degree like a B.S. or Masters on how to be a president?  Not at all, in fact if there were such degrees available it would scare the heck out of me.

If there were such degrees they would have just as much bias as the political arena itself.

What kind of credentials do I think a presidential candidate should have? From my standpoint I'd prefer that the presidential candidate would have some background in business, as in running a successful business and knowing the importance of balanced budgets and having themselves surrounded by top-notch talent.

In the past I would have liked for them to have had military experience, but that has become very unlikely in the times we live in now. But, they can surround themselves with highly qualified people who have had diverse military experience, and the president should be slow to second guess these military leaders for political reasons.

Overall former governors have made good presidents because it is an executive administrative job and that's the kind of experience that' needed. One term or two in the House or the Senate just does not give one the credentials that's needed.

How about President Eisenhower, one might ask. Ike actually had some of the best executive administrative experience that one could have.

Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and had to deal with egotistical Allied generals like French General Charles de Gaulle and British General Montgomery.

After World War II Ike became commander of U.S. occupied zone of Germany and then back to the U.S. as chief of staff, U.S. Army. After his retirement from that post he became president of Columbia University.

Eisenhower went on to be elected President of the United States for two terms — eight years of peace and prosperity.

Things certainly have changed over the years. An Eisenhower doesn't come along all that often, but when we have a president who has only been a community organizer and a first-term senator that is catapulted into the White House, how we can be surprised at the negative results? It's called not having the credentials for the job.

So, when one has a terrible record of performance in a job, what can that person do to keep the job? The only thing a president, who cannot run on his record, and has obviously been a failure in his job can do is to never mention his accomplishments (too few), but to demonize his opponent constantly.

In the history of presidential campaigns I don't remember that any of the presidential opponents really liked each other, but they did tend to run on their records.even when some of them were a bit weak, and they didn't wage all-out warfare on their opponent's character. But, apparently when a candidate for reelection doesn't have a positive record to run on, he feels he must resort to throwing as much mud as he possibly can and hope some of it will stick.

So what do we do when we find that we've been doing business with someone who just doesn't have the proper credentials to do the job and we've been hurt badly because of this. The answer is simple. We fire them.

That's what we'd do with a plumber, electrician, or anyone else who couldn't or wouldn't do the job right.

Give me someone who knows how and why the private sector works and why the free enterprise system has made this nation so great. Fire anyone who seems to believe that some sort of socialistic form of government is the best choice. This has been proven by history. If the boat's leaking an about to sink, find another boat and keep from drowning.

(Bob Harper is a local resident who writes a column of general interest.)