HERE IT IS! MY ROUGH DRAFT THAT MAKES NO SENSE. I ALREADY REALIZE MANY OF THE THINGS WRONG WITH IT (EX. SOME SENTENCES ARE WAY TOO LONG) BUT YOU ASKED FOR IT SO HERE IT IS!
NO TITLE YET - FEEL FREE TO MAKE A SUGGESTION:
Because America as a country desires personal perfection from its leaders, in many cases the media and/or enemies of a potential candidate can reach too far in profiling a candidate's past, often forging into the absurd. This viewpoint is illustrated in a comedic article by American author Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), "Running for President". Twain's stories often depicted the ironies of American life in a witty and humorous way while also forcing the reader to rethink the validity of long-held belief systems. "Running for President", a six paragraph short article, hilariously illustrates the point of "What the country wants is a candidate who cannot be injured by investigation of his past history" (225).
Twain begins his narrative by stating that he is going to run for President. He theorizes that if a candidate is open from the beginning about his past record, then the "enemies of the party will be unable to rake up anything against him that nobody ever heard of before" (225). Illustrating his long-celebrated sense of humor, Twain lists his own "faults" and "past mistakes", putting his cards on the table so that he can clear up any misunderstandings about his past or character before becoming a candidate. However, his faults and mistakes are so bizarre as to be considered humorous. He gives examples of "treeing a rheumatic grandfather....in the winter of 1850 (225) at gunpoint, running away from the Battle of Gettysburg because "I was scared" (226), and fertilizing his grapevines with the body of a dead aunt. He freely admits that "the great fundamental principle of my life" (226) was to take any kind of money he could get, either paper or coin, and that he was "not a friend of the poor man" (226). In fact, he states that "Cut up and properly canned, (the poor man) might be made useful to fatten the natives of the cannibal islands" (226)!
Of course we assume that Twain's "examples of character" are either fictionor exaggerated for the sake of humor. However, his examples do give us pause when we consider the pains taken in modern times by a new candidate's opposing party or by the press to discover a candidate's "hidden past". Every phase of a candidate's life is thoroughly reviewed in an attempt to find information that could damage his or her reputation and bring about electoral defeat. Apparently this was also true in Twain's time as well.
Naturally, our country should desire complete disclosure if a candidate has had serious and unlawful allegations brought against him/her that breaches public trust. A modern example of appropriate scrutiny of a candidate's record and personal past would be the appointment hearings for Judge Clarence Thomas. Before Judge Thomas' appointment in 1991, one of his former employees, Anita Hill, testified to allegations to sexual harrassment. Another modern example would include the "wrongful death" responsibility rumours that have plagued Senator Ted Kennedy. Ever since a July 1969 car crash in which a female passenger was killed, there have been grave doubts surrounding the extent Kennedy's fault in the accident.
While Judge Thomas was able to overcome accusations against him and still be appointed to his Supreme Court position, it can be argued that distrust ove Kennedy's past has cost him the Presidency of the United States in several elections. A candidate should realize that serious past mistakes are "open season" for thorough investigation and revelation to the public. Because public trust is essential, America as a nation should insist on this type of thorough personal investigation of candidates.
However, there have been times in history when these investigations can border on the ridiculous, and this is what Twain's piece seeks to point out and vilify. Modern examples of candidate investigation that went "just a little too far" involve allegations of sampling marijuana in college (which many consider to be a "rite of passage" in college) or that a candidate did not verify all of the immigration laws before hiring a private nanny. One of the most hurtful and unnecessary investigations of the past have involved exposing a candidate's homosexuality; the implication being that a person's sexual preference would hinder a public figure from making correct and trustworthy executive decisions.
Taken in the context that Twain, back in his own time, is rebelling against basically this same kind of "excessive profiling" that plagues candidates today, his bizarre "past mistakes" and "character flaws" become quite humorous. The farce forces us to realize that we need to take a close look at what characteristics are truly important in candidate selection and what are mistakes that we all could possibly make. We need to realize that some "mistakes" are not mistakes at all but unalterable human traits that we should embrace as normal.
Perhaps one day our society will be able to differentiate between what is a serious mistakes that compromises the public trust and common human conditions that can actually make a candidate wiser and capable of steering our country in positive directions. As Twain points out to us, a candidate's best strategy is to list your past history before even declaring candidacy, so that "if any Congressional committee is disposed to prowl around my biography in the hope of discovering any dark and deadly deed that I have secreted, why - let it prowl"(225).
THE END. I AM NOT LISTING MY WORKS CITED PAGE. I TYPED THIS SUPER-FAST SO THERE MAY BE SOME TYPOS - I DON'T HAVE TIME TO PROOF IT. SO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. AND CRITICIZE THE WORK, NOT THE WRITER! :-)