Proposal: An aptitude test for the Presidency

I realize the Constitution’s only requirement for Presidency is to be a citizen 35 years of age or older, but I think it’d be possible to create enough public pressure to make it a de facto requirement without having to go through an amendment process. Theoretically, candidates could skip out on it, but it would make them look bad, just like refusing to hold a debate with their opponent would also harm them too much to be worthwhile.

Set up a bipartisan commission, similar in style to the Commission on Presidential Debates to create the test. Composed equally of Republicans and Democrats.

The aptitude test will be on the candidates knowledge of current events, the economy, world affairs, analytical and logical reasoning, and the U.S Constitution.

Neither candidate will have advance knowledge of what specifically will be on the test. They will have to show up in person and fill out the forms all by themselves.

We have one; it’s called an election. If you can pass that you’re in.

I can hear the slippery-slopers yelling LITMUS! LITMUS! from here. I personally would feel better about voting for a President (and Vice President!) who has at least a functional knowledge of civics/history/geography/etc.

Of course, if neither candidate passes… then what?!

This presents the same problems as aptitude tests for potential voters… someone has to create the test and someone has to grade it, and I wouldn’t trust anyone to do either.

What you describe is very much what happened when the League of Women Voters handled the Presidential debates.

In the words of Wikipedia

The league Education Fund sponsored the 1976, 1980, and 1984 presidential debates. In 1988, the league withdrew from debate sponsorship, in protest of the major party candidates attempting to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were to be conducted, which ultimately resulted in the Democratic and Republican parties forming the Commission on Presidential Debates which gave the parties greater control over the debate environment.
Both sides want to limit the chance of their guy answering real direct questions and thereby possibly screwing the pooch with a poor answer.

I saw the thread title and said, “What, we’re going to have them actually sit down and have a beer with some constuents?”

Why should this commission be put solely into the hands of the big two parties?

Two options is all you need. Hell, on some issues you don’t even NEED an option. Everybody agrees defense spending should be at least $500 billion ot $600 billion, right? Who would disagree with that?

As a broader question… why do people think tests are the answer to everything? Tests for parenthood, for voting, and so on. Do we really think that’s going to lead to a more intellectual, apt, best-and-brightest-lead society? My standardized test-taking days aren’t that far in the past, so I’m pretty positive this is always a bad idea.

I hope you people understand that the commission administering the test would be, in effect, the actual rulers of the U.S.