If you’re having brain surgery, wouldn’t you want an experienced doctor? If your basement is full of water, don’t you want an experienced plumber? If you’re on trial for your life, don’t you want an experienced lawyer? Sure.
But when it comes to those who represent us in Congress, most Americans do NOT want an experienced politician.
Is it because we don’t value experience? Not at all. It’s precisely because we do value experience real world experience.
What we need in Congress is not more politicians expert in writing a press release or talking out of both sides of their mouth. We need people who have experience in running a business, who have worked in health care or in our schools folks who know what it is to earn a living and raise a family because they’ve done it.
George McGovern spent 24 years in the U.S. Senate. When he left Congress, he started a small inn in Vermont. Unfortunately, the inn was not successful, but McGovern learned some things about business. McGovern said to the Wall Street Journal, “I wish that someone had told me about the problems of running a business. I have to pay taxes, meet a payroll I wish I had had a better sense of what it took to do that when I was in Washington.”
Not only do we want representatives who are fresh from the private sector; we want legislators who are planning to return to the private sector. We want them connected to our lives. And if any of these citizen legislators are good plumbers, I hope they’ll come back home soon my basement’s full of water again.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.