should politicians be educated?should there be minimum education for entry in politics? i think no... please provide points to support the answer  

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pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say no, but I would add that I think there should be an educational component required after one is elected. I have sat on a number of local governmental bodies, and even on a small board in a small town there are a lot of things that you have to know in order to be effective. There are procedural things, knowledge of the purpose and origin of the office you are holding, and an understanding of how your office fits into the larger scheme and flow of government as a whole. It's a lot to learn.

I have sat in too many meetings at the town, county, and even state level  where an elected official began to expound on an idea, only to be told "it can't be done that way, and here is why..." by more experienced members, or by counsel. It's embarrassing, a waste of time, and, probably most important, it saps the energy and enthusiasm of the person who brought the idea forward. Some education on how the process of government is intended to work at the chosen level would allow new members to come on board in a productive manner, and hopefully prevent them from becoming jaded and giving up. Anything can be accomplished, but it is important that it be done according to established procedure, and that takes some education.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think everyone is conveying the same basic idea, approaching it from different angles or perspectives. We all seem agreed that politicians do not need to be "educated" in terms of having a background of a specific set of classes or life experiences. We all do want politicians to be "educated" in the sense of understanding how to use skills and intellect to pursue the functions assigned to whatever level of government they are serving.

I like post 3's comments about education after election. In addition to training politicians regarding procedural formalities and providing background information for issues that they may have not had prior to election, I would advocate for all newly elected or reelected politicians being required to attend training sessions dealing with the seemingly lost art of respectful debate, open exchange of ideas for the education and advancement of all involved, and the use of compromise to achieve mutually workable middle ground solutions to disagreements. I think all our national politicians are in desperate need of learning or relearning these skills.

bigdreams1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I may be the only one who disagrees here, but I feel like there should be a minimum level of education for public servants.

When making law, the politician needs to be educated enough to understand what is constitutional and what is not. National level politicians need to know the names of important world policitians, and they need to be schooled in the history behind the relationships between the US and foreign leaders/countries.

And just for public confidence, I think politicians need to know proper etiquette and grammar, etc.

How many times has the media/public belittled a politician for a grammatical error, or for breaking customs of a foreign country they are visiting?


lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I know that I would have to have some education on any political office. I know that one can learn through trial and error, but that is not necessarily the best way. While some people learn the hard way, I believe there has to be a better way to learn. As mentioned above, education leads to confidence. I would desire to know all that I could know before even running for political office. Whether that learning should be a required formal education, I would have to just say that a little education can be a dangerous thing. Teach me all that I need to know, then I might consider running for office. I believe education is important before running for any political office.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would argue "no" as well.  My reasoning is as follows:

  • Any requirement for a job should actually be connected to the person's ability to perform that job.
  • Politicians do not need any particular educational attainment in order to be able to do their jobs.  There are educated people who would (and do) make very bad politicians and there are less educated people who do just fine.
  • Since there is no actual connection between education and being a good politician (other things like honesty and caring and common sense have more of a connection) there is no reason to create any sort of educational requirements.
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If an education guaranteed a good politician, then yes. Since we all know people who are not particularly well educated but have common sense and decency, I have to say no. I want a politician to be able to think, reason, and analyze; and having an education does not guarantee these skills. On the other hand, there is nothing intrinsically better about being a self-taught person than being someone who gained these skills by getting an education. It's the skills and abilities that matter, not how they were gotten.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, of course, but that doesn't mean it has to have been a formal education.  Life experience and accomplishment are usually the better teachers anyway, so I believe it's good for politicians to have life experience, vague as that is.  Some might refer to it as "street smarts", or knowing how to get things done within an often broken system.

Good intentions, incorruptability, and a desire to represent constituents are at least as important, at the end of the day, as education itself.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is telling that our Constitution does not specify an educational component for our President or members of Congress. Obviously, an education is a benefit to a politician both in getting elected and in doing his job. It is not by coincidence that most politicians are also lawyers who are very well educated. But education in and of itself does not speak to a persons intelligence, moral fiber, or compassion, all qualifications that each of us would like to see in a leader.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I will echo some of the other posters in that I think anyone from any background should be permitted to run for elected office. I think the idea is that through the election process the voters and media should be able to determine the qualifications and abilities of a given candidate. However, I also think that education a important attribute that helps to lend confidence to a possible candidate.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I agree with the above posters that there should not be a minimum requirement of education for running for public office. Anyone and everyone can run for office, it's the beauty of our system. I do think that people should keep a candidate's qualifications in mind when voting, because public office is a complicated thing.
losangeles12 | Student

Democracy is founded on the idea that voters can make up their own mind about the candidates. I don't think that the Government should make a low or requirement for education, it's up to the voters to decide if an individual candidate is educated enough.

janeblue | Student

I am guessing this is in relation to Herman Cain?

I think that politicians should be educated as far as a college graduate goes. As far as being experienced in the field of politics I am on the fence.

Politicians once experienced seem to become very good at lying and fooling the public. I value the honesty that businessmen who haven't been in politics have. They are able to be successful while being transparent unlike politicians.

When I think about the origins of America I think about people trying to better their community and help one another.

Now when I think about America I think about politicians that are dishonest, it really is awful.

Recently I saw a painting called One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton and I remembered just how useless experience as a politician was over morals. Our favorite politicians have all not been perfect politicians but what they did have was out attention and our support because they made us feel good about being American.

I hope whoever wins this election is a shining light in office and not just a dissapointment. America needs someone who is willing to have haters and make changes that maybe not everyone likes but we can respect them for.

litt6660 | Student
should politicians be educated?

should there be minimum education for entry in politics?

i think no...

please provide points to support the answer


i agree with the previous posters........ but in future all the politicians 'll come as educated once......