Experience necessary?

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, September 18, 2008

In the arena of politics, the word experience has been thrown around as some golden ticket, but as one side points out the other side’s shortcomings and vice versa, we must realize in the case for president, no one but an incumbent is actually experienced in the job.

What does the job actually require? The job description states you must choose cabinet members, be in charge of the armed forces, appoint judges and ambassadors, make treaties with foreign countries, propose new laws, sign or veto bills, protect and defend laws, pardon criminals, and report to Congress once a year on how things are going. As for the vice president, he is the runner up like in a beauty pageant. He just does what the first guy can’t get to and takes over in case the winner can not fulfill his duties. (I would vote for Huckabee as Mr. Congeniality!)

As I see it, neither side has experience cause neither one has been president. So, we have to examine character and what they have done in the past… cause don’t believe anything said during the course of a campaign. It’s like girls and dating. Believe what guys do and not what they say.

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Experience comes in many flavors.

For example, as I lie on the operating table and look up into my surgeon’s eyes just before I begin the countdown from one hundred, the face of a “Doogie Howser” is not what I want to see! Give me an experienced hand in this case. I know the young surgeon must start somewhere, but I would prefer it not to be on me. Experience matters.

When I sit in the beautician’s chair and have the colorist coloring my hair, I would prefer someone with experience. I did it once, believe me, experience matters!

It is a vicious cycle for the novice to gain experience when no one will hire someone out of college because they lack experience. Eventually someone has to take a chance on fresh talent and aid the inexperienced one to step up and prove themselves; thereby creating experience.

However, there are times when the lack of experience matters. Like the guy on his honeymoon night, he might prefer the love of his life untouched. Which is odd, since women tend to lean towards a man who is borderline stud or womanizer! Alas, the double standard arises!

What is experience? Is it just spending time doing a task? Are you really an expert just because you have done a job for years? It is like playing an instrument. Some folks take lessons for years and years, yet they never seem to improve. They reached their talent quota.

Don’t we have experienced government leaders who seem to be clueless? Out of touch? Experienced financial leaders who are very experienced in making money for themselves and sticking it to the consumers? They got theirs! Buh Bye!

Could it be that experience isn’t so much a qualification as is what is in their motivation, their heart?

We all start on the same page. Who of us was a parent before becoming a parent?

I had no experience as a mother. No babysitting resume! I had no idea what to do with the infant that came home from the hospital. You know the old joke about there not being a manual included? The hospital gives no directions when you leave the building. My goal was to keep it alive!

The baby cries and you begin sticking things in him or her, changing him or her, doing whatever it takes to get him or her quiet again. Does this make me a good mother? The capacity to make the screaming infant silent?

Yet, after completing four years with one child I felt I had mastered the job so well that I produced another child. Yes, now I have experience as a mother, but do I know what I am doing yet? Not really! By the time the twins came along I realized just how lacking in parental skills I am! I have been doing this for 21 years! Is anyone ready to make me mother of the year?

Unfortunately, there are many who have kids and should never have done so. The big example is the mother of Caylee, the missing three year old in Florida. I will go out on a limb and say her mothering skills were not very good. At least I remember, most of the time, where I put my kids. Believe me, I have tried to forget them but the teachers keep calling me! (Just a joke for any social services readers!)

As I have chosen my candidate for president, I think we have to get past all the hoopla and all the finger pointing. Because one side will win and the other side will lose, but the country will continue. For the sake of our future, it is okay to debate who is right, who has better skills, and who will lead effectively but it isn’t alright to dissect, insult, and make it hard to make nice after the election is over. It is not right to hurt their children either. We have to come together.

Sometimes people would rather destroy rather than lose.

Don’t you wish it was more like the American Idol finale: down to the last two, the votes are in, they stand side by side and the winner is announced and good-naturedly they hug and both go on to their success. Why can’t life be more like a reality show?

Tracy Williams is a guest columnist and can be reached at myhometown@comcast.net