In the never-ending struggle to better our political system, I believe our best chance lies in electing a more diverse body of politicians from various fields of study.
Politicians are presented as representatives of the public; therefore it is only logical that the diversity of the public be reflected in the political sphere. At the current state, the majority of politicians who hold office are lawyers. A background in law is no more valuable in electing a politician than that in history, philosophy or education; although the opposite may be true.
Not only have lawyers become more preferred, but a background in law has become highly anticipated of any who wish to pursue a career in politics. This never-ending stream of lawyers entering the political sphere demotivates young political hopefuls who have interests in other fields of study.
In reality, the only factors that should matter in electing politicians should be their ideology and intellect. The founding fathers of the United States were a group of intellectuals from very different backgrounds, and although some were lawyers, the consistent common factor was their skillfulness and genius. The United States, and other nations for that matter, have sold and bought into this fallacy that only lawyers are capable of being politicians.
I find it disturbing that this is permitted. Young individuals who show remarkable talent in other fields are being drawn away from contributing their knowledge to creating a better society, solely because they have not pursued a career in law.
Again, I find the study of philosophy and moral truths much more relevant and useful than law. How can we possibly expect educated, diverse and open-minded policy when the persons pursuing and creating said policies are majorly from a singular field of study that has little to do with the policies they essentially have the power to influence? Lawyers may be able to sustain the system, but in the pursuit of reform, brilliant minds who have spent years or even decades in research are much more valuable.
Perhaps I am a cynic, but a lawyer in many cases is simply an individual who allows his interns to perform his research before making a policy decision that more likely than not follows his party’s identification rather than an educated platform. It’s time we put the public’s trust into the hands of intellectuals rather than charismatic lawyers.
Naser Dashti is a second year undecided/undeclared major. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Filed Under: Opinion