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No, Vox, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should not be able to be president (yet)

Posted by / December 13, 2018

Matthew Yglesias, a senior correspondent for for Vox and an accomplished journalist, recently published an article entitled, “It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.”

For those who might not remember their U.S. government courses in high school, you cannot be president unless you’re 35. Yglesias writes:

…the really awful thing about being old is that you just keep getting older over time…With youth, by contrast, it’s the exact opposite situation. You might worry that a new youthful president is underexperienced (but then again, which president hasn’t been a little underexperienced), but lack of experience is guaranteed to improve with time. Things are as bad as they’ll ever be during the campaign, so voters can judge for themselves without worrying about lurking problems.

This last sentence is mind-bogglingly inane, as it is  perfectly belied by what happened in the 2016 election. Things during that election were decidedly not as bad as it would get, and there are so many lurking problems we had to appoint a special counsel to investigate. Does Yglesias think that Democrats are somehow immune to this and can somehow see into the future to spot those “lurking problems”?

He also writes:

The constitutional prohibition on people under the age of 35 serving as president is just one of these weird lacuna that was handed down to us from the 18th century but that nobody would seriously propose creating today if not for status quo bias.

Me. I would. I’m 32 years old as of this writing, and if someone tried to appoint me president I’d call them a fool. If I wouldn’t trust myself as president at 32, why would I trust someone even younger than that to be, you know, the most powerful person on the planet?

But if you’re swayed by all of that, you should read the most powerful argument Yglesias made. It might win you back: “One good sign that AOC should run for president is that she has a nickname — AOC.”

Good grief. To be fair, Yglesias was trying to make a different point with that nickname nonsense: “it’s proof positive that she’s an honest-to-goodness political superstar, and it’s clear that’s what many Democrats are looking for in 2020.”

That statement is, by far and away, the most ridiculous of the entire piece. Yglesias is saying that fame and popularity should be enough to change the Constitution and elect someone president. So by that logic, it would make sense to vote for a reality TV star, right? Or a popular business man?

And here’s the thing. I actually love “AOC.” I think she’s great. But I think it’s absurd to say that she should be president because she’s a “superstar.” The Democrats don’t need a superstar. They need to get their house in order, fix their alienating policy platform, and root out the corruption in their ranks. They do not need to fall into the same trap the GOP did and elect some flavor of the week, only to deal with the inevitable consequences.

More politics.

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