100% Human-Generated Content
Is Every American Qualified To Be President? The Answer is Yes
That includes Marianne Williamson
Self-help guru Marianne Williamson is running for president again, launching another presidential bid three years after failing to connect with voters. She kicked off this new campaign last Saturday, the first candidate to directly challenge Joe Biden for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination.
When she announced her candidacy, she was immediately dismissed by Democratic apparatchiks as a joke, a longshot, and an unserious candidate. Meanwhile, on social media, one of the arguments against her was that she was unqualified and unfit for the job. I saw ardent Biden supporters repeat this message on Twitter.
The problem with this argument is that Williamson is qualified, at least according to the Constitution. She would be a terrible President, I think, but that’s not the same as being unqualified. I don’t think she’s a joke, and if she poses a problem for Biden during the primary, that’s his problem. He’ll have to work harder to win votes…. or not. She is qualified and, also, she is a total nut. But show me a presidential candidate who isn’t.
Williamson is a talented speaker with a surprisingly common touch, especially for a celebrity spiritual advisor who has built a vast wellness empire. As an aspiring politician, she mixes meditation with populism. She is not a realistic threat to Biden, yet she is articulate in ways that he is not, which is why I think she triggers so much intra-party animosity, including the shouts of “she’s not qualified.’
I’m not a Williamson booster; her recent speech was an unoriginal anti-establishment “I feel your pain” sermon aimed at anyone who feels left behind or afraid, and that’s everyone. Is any American having a good time in 2023? The richest man in the world is chained to a mid-life crisis impulse buy that mocks him every minute of every day. He’s not having fun. No one is. Things are grim, from prince to pauper.
So she’s playing it safe. But she’s still qualified. That’s my point. Every American is qualified. I’m repeating myself because, right now, someone is writing a comment about how much they dislike Williamson, and I get it! And yet… she is qualities. Sadly, if you’re not American, you cannot run for president. Sorry. Trust me, you’re better off.
I’m not even a registered Democrat, I switched to independent during the summer of 2016 when it was clear the party had no interest in listening to younger voters who were treated like defeated insurgents after Bernie lost the primary (and his loss was sizeable.) I voted for Hillary, and I’d do it again, but I left the party, and in New York state, where I live, primaries are closed. If I were still a Democrat, I don’t think I’d vote for Williamson in the primary. That doesn’t mean I don’t think another Democrat should run against Biden in the primary, but she’s a little too culty for me.
I think she’s sincere, by the way. Or at least, I think she believes in what she’s selling (which includes mugs!) She has many perfectly acceptable positions on issues like gun safety, climate change, and civil rights. Things I agree on. I think civil rights are important.
Her 2024 catchphrase is ‘Disrupt The System,” which I’m sure will resonate with more than a few unhappy — and financially comfortable — Democrats. Unfortunately, I’ve known more than one well-meaning fanatic, and there’s something about Williamson that puts me off. Ah, well. If some seismic political event happens and Williamson is the only person running against DeSantis, I will vote for her. In that instance and that instance only.
And she’s still qualified because there are only three qualifications to be president: first, the president must be at least 35 years of age, which was old enough for an AARP subscription in the 18th Century. Second, the president must be a natural-born citizen, and lastly, they must have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years prior. Done. That’s it. Do you need a college degree? Executive experience? A track record of leading people during times of great upheaval? No, no, no. Marianne Williamson is qualified to be president, and if you disagree, take it up with James Madison.
Go forth, Marianne Williamson, and annoy your fellow Democrats! May St. Jude himself watch over your hopeless cause!
I am probably what a right-wing nutjob would call “woke,” a tidy political insult that means whatever the person using it wants it to mean. But, to me, at least, being “woke” is, you know, having a basic understanding of American history, which has some dark parts—God’s honest truth.
If our country was a fable, it would begin with: “Once upon a time, there was a free country that wasn’t free for everyone.” It is a tale about contradictions from the word go — all men are created equal except for [fill in the blank.]
But even at my most insufferably woke, I have an affection for America’s so-called ‘Founding Fathers,’ a colonial mafia comprised of slave masters, religious freaks, and greedy merchants. What a bunch of lunatics! They also, collectively, possessed a small amount of genius, and I find evidence of that genius in their qualifications for president, a position many feared would invite tyranny. And those few were right.
The Founders were so concerned that their countrymen couldn’t handle power, that they’d become hopelessly corrupt, that they invented all sorts of mechanisms to spread authority thin, like that last bit of jelly over a toasted English muffin (those redcoats make a nice breakfast carb!)
From their idea of hostile government branches checking and balancing each other to Federal and state system that is both dependent and independent simultaneously. They had no faith in us, and that included you and me. I know it’s fashionable for partisans to suggest the Founders would find modern America unrecognizable, but I'm afraid I have to disagree, although I’m sure airplanes and antibiotics and computers would boggle their minds (I don’t want to be the one to tell John Adams that there are still Americans who don’t believe in vaccines though. They saved his family from smallpox.)
If Jefferson and Hamilton, and Franklin stepped through a portal and into our time and walked around Washington for a day, I think they’d only be shocked at how orderly everything is and that there wasn’t chaos and bloodshed in the streets every twenty years or so. They may also be shocked to learn it took so long for a mendacious charlatan like Trump to get elected president.
The Founders were quite clear: anyone can be president. Are you 35? Were you born in the U.S.? Have you been here for the past 15 years? Do you have a pulse? Even the most thankless jobs require more than three qualifications but not the U.S. presidency. Can you imagine a posting on LinkedIn for a chief executive officer that only requires three qualifications?
It’s a fair system, but that’s where the fairness stops. Our democratic process is an actual, for real, joke. It costs billions of dollars to win presidential elections today. Our democracy is a war between two circuses fighting to amuse and terrorize the people. We are easier to herd than we like to think.
I was told as a kid that anyone can grow up to be president, which is a harmless little pep talk. One of America’s most powerful white lies is that we’re a meritocracy. Then I grew up and realized, to my horror — holy shit — that anyone can grow up to be president: creeps, dimwits, incompetent scions.
There is an unwritten qualification for president — Ceasar-like ambition and that dude was famously stabbed by his friends and co-workers in broad daylight. I would never suggest sorting children, but those who are told they can be president and then voice that they want to be president should be watched. You know, keep an eye on them.
The Founders had a remarkably honest vision of mankind’s soul and knew power needed to be greasy, slippery, and hard to hold onto. And one of their big ideas was to open the presidency to anyone — not lords or priests or bluebloods. Anyone. Those are the rules. Simple. Anyone can be president, LOL. So good luck, Marianne.
“100% Human-Generated Content” is a new rambly column I’m writing here on Medium. If you liked it, subscribe to my newsletter. If you didn’t, subscribe anyway, and let’s continue this budding relationship where I write about my thoughts, and you hate me. XO.