Requirements to Become President of the United States

The legal requirements to become President of the United States are mandated by the Constitution, and include 1) a presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, 2) a resident for 14 years and 3) 35 years of age or older. Additionally, while not required, a presidential candidate generally has the following, 1) experience in government or high military rank, 2) the ability to raise lots of money, 3) political beliefs that fit one of the major political parties, 4) personal characteristics that include mental stability, and 5) skill in debating and responding to questions from the press. While there are no educational requirements, apparently most presidents of the U.S. have received a college education, and every president since 1953 has had a bachelor’s degree. There is no mandatory retirement age for president or members of Congress, which is why we are governed by a lot of octogenarians. (It says all of this on the internet, so it must be true). Requirements to Become President

Having regurgitated this information from the internet, I am now going to describe my experience with the Presidents of the United States during my lifetime. Please keep in mind that a) I do not intend this to be a political article and b) I am registered as an Independent, and could care less about political party or politics. I just want a president who gives a crap about the American people for whom he/she works and is in Washington to serve us to the best of his/her ability (I guess I’m an idealist? Although I don’t think that qualifies as a political party). Requirements to Become President

There will be some (considerable) exaggeration for effect in this article, as it’s my purpose to try for humor. The characters in this article are made up in the mind of a crotchety old man, and may, or may not, resemble actual presidents. If anyone gets too upset by my opinions, I’ll just plead dementia and refuse to come out of my basement. I am 70 after all. Also, please keep in mind that regardless of what I say in this blog post, the United States of America is still here and marginally functional (thank you Covid). Therefore, these presidents must have done some things right to keep us going. Requirements to Become President

It’s just that with each presidential election in which I’ve voted, I always end up to holding my nose and voting for the candidate that stinks the least. If you’re looking for a solution to this problem, you won’t find it in this article. I’m just trying to laugh to keep from crying. So anyhow, here goes. It will be interesting to see if I can reach any conclusions regarding qualifications for U.S. Presidents by the end of the article. Requirements to Become President

The first president that served a full term during my lifetime is Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican (1953-1961). Fondly known as Ike, the only thing I remember about him is the theme “I like Ike.” Give me a break. I was only two when he was elected. He was a 5-star general, and during WWII he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. Ike threatened several countries with nuclear attacks to stop the spread of communism (presidents have apparently done that a lot over the years) and is credited with starting the Viet Nam war. He started the interstate highway system (I just drove on I-95 last week. Yikes! Thanks Ike) and NASA and also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. His qualification for president was that he was a high ranking military man. Requirements to Become President

Next came John F. Kennedy, a Democrat (1961-1963). His family had great wealth, gained from banking and bootlegging (again, on the internet, so it must be true). He was a PT (patrol torpedo) boat commander in the Navy and he fought a famous battle where his PT boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. According to the movie PT 109 he successfully led his men to safety. He also served as a Congressman from Massachusetts. He is probably best remembered for his womanizing, as the first Catholic president, and for being tragically assassinated. Amazingly, to this day we’re still not sure who shot him or why. Personally, I think aliens were involved. There’s also the Bay of Pigs mess and the Cuban Missile Crisis. So, he was a military man, served in Congress and had lots of money, the trifecta. He also had a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and apparently really, really liked women. Requirements to Become President

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat (1963-69). Known as LBJ, he served as a Congressman, and then as Vice President under Kennedy. He became president when Kennedy was assassinated. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, created Medicare and Medicaid and escalated the Viet Nam war in an attempt to slow the spread of Marxism and communism. His qualifications for the presidency included serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate (read ‘professional politician’), although he never actually got elected president on his own. Education included a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and he dropped out of Georgetown Law after one year to pursue a career in politics. Requirements to Become President

Next up, Richard M. Nixon, a Republican (1969-1974). Affectionately known as ‘Tricky Dicky’, he had a Bachelor’s Degree and a law degree from Duke Law School. He served in the Navy and attained the rank of lieutenant commander. He then served in the U.S. House of Representatives, later in the Senate and then as Vice President under Eisenhower. He also gained a reputation as a rabid anticommunist. According to the photo above, he was also good friends with Elvis, who would have probably been elected president if he’d ran. Nixon ended the Viet Nam war and improved U.S. relations with China. He really didn’t like marijuana, and the movie ‘Reefer Madness’ was put out during his term. It’s a must see movie, a 5-star at least. While running for his second term, some of his people broke into the DNC at the Watergate building, and he was involved in the cover up. His famous tag line was “I am NOT a crook”. He was impeached, and he resigned in disgrace. Nixon was both a military man and a politician. He also knew Elvis and was apparently a good poker player who won lots of money, which he used to help fund his campaigns (it’s on the internet). Requirements to Become President

Gerald Ford, a Republican (1974-1977), got a Bachelor’s Degree while playing football for U. of Michigan, and then got a law degree from Yale. He served in the Navy during WWII, and attained the rank of lieutenant commander. Then he served in Congress, became Nixon’s Vice President and became president when Nixon resigned. I remember folks saying about Ford that that he should have worn a helmet while playing football, and as president. He kept falling down, and he misspoke a lot, especially during his debates with future President Jimmy Carter. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of great accomplishments as president, and his popularity dropped considerably when he pardoned Nixon. So, he was a lawyer, served in Congress, was a military man, and a super duper college football player. He also apparently said a lot of dumb stuff and misspoke a lot. Sounds a lot like the guy currently in the White House, although I don’t think he played football, he’s just very old. Playing football is a strange job requirement for president. Requirements to Become President

Jimmy Carter, a Democrat (1977-1981), graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and spent 7 years as a naval officer. He was Governor of Georgia for a while, where his family made their living as peanut farmers. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights and promoting economic and social development. His term in office suffered from high inflation (I remember 17%) and an energy crisis (long gas lines), and he had problems with foreign policy issues; the Russian attack of Afghanistan for one…Afghanistan…hmmmm…sounds familiar, and the Iran hostage debacle. I remember Carter as being thought of as a weak president, although he spent the rest of his life trying to make the world a better place. His qualifications for president included serving as governor, a military man, and a peanut farmer (that’s a new one). Requirements to Become President

Ronald Reagan, a Republican (1981-1989), fondly known as the Gipper, had a Bachelor’s Degree and started out as a Hollywood actor. He did a movie with a monkey (actually a chimpanzee) and a movie about football (he didn’t actually play football, but that’s where his nickname ‘the Gipper’ came from). Reagan became governor of California and was the first actor ever elected President. He was known as a great orator, for his supply-side economics, decreasing taxes and deregulation to stimulate the economy. Inflation decreased to 4.6% during his term. He also out-spent Gorbachev of Russia in the Arms Race to the point where the USSR went broke and fell apart. Reagan served two terms, and at one point his popularity hit 68%. (That monkey must have taught him a lot about acting). So, his qualifications were a Bachelor’s Degree, serving as governor of California, and doing a movie with a monkey (Bedtime for Bonzo, 1951). Requirements to Become President

George Bush, Sr., a Republican, (1989-1993), served as a Navy pilot during WWII. He got a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University, and embarked on a career as an oil man in West Texas. Bush served in the House of Representatives, and at one point was Director of the CIA. He also served as Vice President under Reagan. As president, he suffered from a faltering economy at home, inner city violence and high deficit spending. He’s probably best known for Desert Storm, where he sent troops into Kuwait to fend off an attack by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. American troops chased the Iraqi Army back to Iraq, but Bush stopped short of sending them to the capitol and killing Saddam. Saddam, in turn, threatened to kill Bush Senior. This had some interesting consequences later when Bush’s son, George W., became president. So, his qualifications were wealth (an oil man), serving in Congress and a military man, again the trifecta. No movies with, or without a monkey. Requirements to Become President

Bill Clinton, a Democrat (1993-2001), took office at the end of the Cold War. He had a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown and a law degree from Yale. Clinton was governor of Arkansas before becoming president. He took office as president under a cloud of corruption involving himself and wife Hillary and an alleged illegal land deal in Arkansas called Whitewater. Clinton went on to become a very popular president, and the U.S. thrived economically during his tenure. However, he got caught in a unique night on the town, or rather under the White House desk, with a young female intern; sexual exploits and something about a cigar. I remember the impeachment trial, and the press had a field day with the story. To be fair, the impeachment failed. So, his qualifications for president include law degree, governor of Arkansas, and he apparently really, really, really likes the ladies. He and his wife are also very skilled at staying out of jail, no matter what crimes they allegedly committed. But again, no movies with monkeys. Requirements to Become President

Then there’s George W. Bush, Republican (2001-2009). Bush had a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, and was also an oil man like his father. He served as governor of Texas before becoming president. His presidency was defined by 911 and the bringing down of the twin towers. I’m going to go off book here, forget the internet, and describe what I remember to be the case, because it was a confusing time. According to my recollections, all the men involved in flying planes into the twin towers, Pentagon, etc. were from Saudi Arabia. The man who took credit for the attack was named Osama Bin Laden, also a member of the Saudi royal family. He apparently hid out in a hole in the ground in Afghanistan. So, to avenge the heinous murder of 3,000 Americans by folks from Saudi Arabia, George W. Bush attacked Iraq because they supposedly had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which they didn’t, and killed a guy named Saddam Hussein, who coincidentally had threatened the life of Bush Senior during his tenure as president. Then we went to war with Afghanistan (the Russians tried that earlier with the largest tank force in the history of the universe and failed). Apparently we were fighting terrorism in Afghanistan to avoid fighting it here at home. Eventually Bin Laden was killed, under a different president. I could never figure out why, if the Saudis flew the planes and blew up the buildings, we attacked Iraq and Afghanistan (I realize Bin Laden was there hiding in a hole). It’s kind of like if the neighbor in the house to my left shoots my dog, I retaliate by going across the street and punching a different neighbor in the face. Again, very confusing. So, it would seem that George W. Bush’s qualifications were wealth, being governor of Texas, having a father who was President, and being confused (when A attacks, retaliate by attacking B and/or C?). Requirements to Become President

Barack Obama, Democrat (2009-2017), had a Bachelor’s Degree and a law degree from Harvard. He served as a U.S. Senator from Illinois, and then he became the first African-American president. During his tenure as president, he had to deal with terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama also received the Nobel Peace Prize, although it is unclear as to any particular incident on which this was based, other than he always talked about hope. I guess he hoped he’d get the Nobel Peace Prize. He worked on programs related to climate change, made health care more affordable and implemented a number of social programs. It was my hope that he would do something to improve race relations in the U.S. and to help African Americans better themselves. He even gave a speech as president where he stated that we were ‘almost there’ with respect to racial equality. However, the thing I remember most about him was the speech where he told the American people that all the manufacturing jobs had gone overseas and there was nothing he could do about it…not something I particularly want to hear from my president. His qualifications included a law degree and serving in Congress. Requirements to Become President

Donald J. Trump, Republican (2017-2021) had a Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA from the Wharton School. His father was a wealthy real estate developer, and Trump followed in his footsteps, as a billionaire. He was also an actor in the popular TV series The Apprentice. As far as I know, there were no monkeys in that show. He never served in Congress or the military. His lack of political experience probably got him elected, as this was a time in history when the American people had had their fill of corrupt politicians. His election constituted a revolution of sorts against the status quo in Washington, D.C., or the ‘Swamp’ as it became known. He defeated Hillary Clinton, who had the election locked up, bought, paid for and virtually guaranteed until she came out on national TV and called half of America a ‘Basket of Deplorables’, one of the all-time strangest moves in political history. Requirements to Become President

I think Trump did lots of things during his term; at least he said he did, or often Tweeted his accomplishments. It’s hard to tell what actually happened during his term, what with his constant Tweeting, the news media continually lying because they hated him, his constantly exaggerating everything that he did, and his incredibly arrogant and self-possessed mannerisms that turned off a whole lot of Americans. I think his accomplishments included moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, lowering taxes and deregulation that stimulated the economy, making the U.S. the number one energy producer in the world, defeating the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and Iraq, bringing manufacturing back to America, and some other stuff. However, again, between the so-called fake news, the lying news, Trump’s constant Tweeting and exaggerations, it’s difficult to know what the hell really happened during his term. He did have to deal with the horrible ramifications of the Covid pandemic, and took the blame for much of the devastation that it caused. He also spent a lot of time being impeached by Nancy Pelosi, who he must have truly pissed off at some point. Trump’s qualifications included billionaire level wealth, being an actor on TV (no monkeys), an addiction to Tweeting and being in the right place at the right time when everyone was sick and tired of professional and corrupt politicians. Requirements to Become President

This brings us to Joe Biden, Democrat (2021- ), our current president. Biden has a Bachelor’s Degree and a law degree from Syracuse University. He served as Senator from Delaware for 36 years and as Obama’s VP for 8 years. He is the consummate professional politician. It’s hard to find any outstanding accomplishments in his record, although he did serve as head of a number of Congressional committees. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is serving as Barack Obama’s Vice President. He is the exact opposite of Trump in that he is a professional politician and a lifetime member of the so-called Swamp. He’s also the first president in my lifetime that won the presidency virtually without campaigning, which suggests that the American people were tired of Trump’s Tweeting and arrogance. Biden hardly ever left his own basement during the election due to the Covid pandemic. At 78 years of age, it is alleged that he simply couldn’t find his way out of his own basement.  At his advanced age, he often appears confused when he tries to speak. He is a great argument for setting a mandatory retirement age for the office of president. The same could be said for Congress, where the major players and heads of important committees are all octogenarians. Requirements to Become President

It’s early in the game, but so far inflation appears to be out of control, the distribution chain is broken to the point where my wife and I couldn’t find any appliances to redo our kitchen, and there’s rumors again of no toilet paper. Gas is up over a dollar a gallon, chicken wings are as scarce as hen’s teeth, beef is being priced out of the market, and there are a whole lot of freighters sitting in major ports that haven’t been unloaded yet. He’s not exactly knocking the problems of the Covid pandemic out of the park, and his vaccine and mask mandates are apparently making many Americans crazy. Biden’s qualifications include that he is a lifetime professional politician with a law degree, was Barack Obama’s VP, is 78 years old, appears confused a lot and ran against the ‘Great Tweeter’. Requirements to Become President

After researching and remembering this information about presidents during my lifetime, what can I conclude about qualifications to become president? First, you have to meet the 3 qualifications in the Constitution (natural born citizen, resident for 14 years, at least 35 years of age). Then, ya’ gotta have lots of money, whether you inherit it, steal it, print it, Xerox it, get it from a PAC (another whole blog post), or whatever. It’s apparently also helpful to be VP under a guy who gets shot or impeached. It helps to have a successful military career, although in the case of the Bush family, this kinda got out of hand. Surprisingly, a law degree is not necessary. Previous experience as a politician, say a Congressman/woman or governor for example, appears to be helpful, although Donald Trump showed this is not always the case. A willingness to be corrupt when expedient has been quite useful for the Clintons, but not so much for Nixon. It apparently helped Nixon that he knew Elvis? Requirements to Become President

Having a father who was president probably helped George W. Bush on his way to the presidency. Constantly being confused appears to be an asset (Ford, George W. Bush, Biden). Then there’s playing football in college (Gerald Ford), acting in a movie about football (Ronald Reagan), peanut farming (Jimmy Carter), and being really old and the consummate career politician (Joe Biden). There’s also the really, really, really liking women thing, although one would think this might lead to charges of sexual harassment. However, it seems to have worked for Kennedy and Clinton, and there are also allegations against Trump and Biden that haven’t gone anywhere. Requirements to Become President

My favorite qualification is being an actor on TV (Donald Trump) or in a movie with a monkey (Ronald Reagan). I can see how a career in acting might help a presidential candidate, because they have to participate in debates and talk to the news media, pretending that they give a crap about the American people. Much to my surprise, there are really no educational requirements involved. Ya’ just gotta be able to convince (or con) people into voting for you. Unfortunately, this more often than not involves lying and telling people what they want to hear rather than taking any sort of moral or ethical stand on anything of consequence. Requirements to Become President

I do have a prediction, based on my mediocre and somewhat depressing effort at researching qualifications required to become president. There is this ex-professional wrestler and currently popular actor named Dwayne Johnson, also affectionately known as “The Rock”. He usually plays the role of the good guy, the hero, in action movies. And, most important, he has already done a movie with a monkey (The Rampage), in this case a very large monkey (actually I think it was a gorilla). My prediction, President Rock sometime in the next decade or so. He’s a shoo-in if he finds a way to prove that he really, really, really likes women, or maybe buys a peanut farm? Requirements to Become President

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