So it’s coming down to the nitty-gritty. The proverbial Talking Heads are all agog. Speeches are being thoroughly scoured for anything even smacking of the slightest controversy so that the media hounds can swoop in like the vultures they are and devour the carcass of the misspoken. All this talking and I still don’t feel like I have my most basic questions answered.

Have mentioned how much I love the political season?

Take that previous sentence however you wish…moving on: I was reading something about the education of the Founding Fathers of this grand country ours. Intensive study of the Classics, philosophy, history, political theory, Latin, amongst other languages, botany and other sciences…truly grand and impressive stuff and it got me thinking: what exactly have our presidential candidates studied?

Clinton and Obama have studied law and McCain has studied warfare (and this is not meant disparagingly because I think it is a very necessary skill to be able to organize, plan and execute strategy in all walks of life). But other than that? What political theory have they studied? What sciences? What foreign languages do they speak? What are their favorite philosophers? What are their favorite books?

This may sound strange, but this is what I want to know and I think this information is valid and important as anything else. You want to be president? Well, then you have to be citizen of the world. This is done by intensive study and by being well-traveled. The Founding Fathers were fantastically educated. Look what they created! I think it’s time that those who wish to play in the political arena start proving their intellectual mettle.

Here, I’ll kick off the discussion:

Political Theory(ist): Hands down, for me, Thomas Paine. Prove you have read “Common Sense” or “The Rights of Man” and I’ll be your political love-monkey.

Sciences: My personal favorite is physics. I think it is the most elegant of all sciences, but really, so long as you can show you have reasonably given thought to any of the majors (Chemistry, Biology, Botany, etc) AND you accept that the world is more than 6,000 years old, refer to the result of #1.

Foreign Languages: I speak some decent Russian, I dabble in some Arabic, I’ve learned some Icelandic phrases, and I can order food, beverages, and find the loo in French, Spanish, Italian, AND Latin (okay, really, I can only swear in Latin). I just want to know that you can converse in a language other than your own. You want to be leader of the free world? Prove you can navigate it past the airport.

Ooooo, here’s where it gets tricky: Philosophers. Which philosopher is preferred by a presidential candidate? More importantly, which philosopher is preferred by the voting public?

And favorite book: If anyone of them say Howard Zinn’s “The People’s History of the United States”, then, well, that of course, garners my undying devotion. Although I could also make a pretty good argument for “A Confederacy of Dunces”.

This may seem like a flippant entry, but really, it is not. Given the opportunity, these are the questions I would ask. Answer these questions for me and you have told me everything I need to know.

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