Bob, race and gender are superficial considerations in determining the qualifictaions of someone for public office. Fidelity to the Constitution, which all public servants swear to uphold and defend upon taking office, is the most important consideration. That is the measure of a candidate, not whether they are black, white, yellow or brown, not whether they are male or female.
No, Denise, race and gender are not superficial considerations in determining the qualifications of somebody for public office. My understanding is that they are not legal considerations at all. You may have been misled in this regard by the fact that there have been no women Presidents, and President Obama is the first president we have with an identifiable african-american heritage. I can't speak for the rest.
Women, and people of color have been enormously underrepresented in the elected offices of this country. Certainly in the House and Senate, Women and People of Color have been enormously underrepresented in proportion to their presence in the population. If this was the superficial consideration that you suggest, I so no reason that this would be so. It certainly seems to distort the bounds of likelihood in regards of chance, if you were to consider the matter statistically.
Of course, should you or somebody else have a better statistical explanation that accounts for the difference, I'd be interested in hearing it. I am not a statistician by any stretch.
Even fidelity to the constitution, which I personally find important to earn my vote, is not one of those requirements, which generally involve some sort of age minimum, 18 or 21 or 35, and occasionally birth or citizenship requirements.
Despite your talk about loyalty to the constitution, I notice that your reading of that document may involve a granting of powers to the executive branch that I find uncomfortable, such as were passed under the Patriot Act, and which permitted suspension of warrants and increased the powers of arrest granted to the government that I believe to be unconstitutional and unwarranted. The arrest of groups of people under these laws is all to possible and should not have been permitted at the time, and should not be permitted today.
Had you been serious about the issue of constitutionality rather than partisan politics, I would have expected to hear your voice raised at that time as well as today instead of merely today, and I would expect it to be raised at the constitutional issues raised then and still at issue today rather than your clear dislike for the present administration, whose support for the continuation of these policies is, in my opinion, not in the best interests of the nation.
By keeping the issue of these inroads on our constitutional liberties on the level of partisan politics — where it certainly may be fought, though not, I fear, fought successfully — we keep our agreement on these constitutional issues at arm's length and make our united opposition to this sort of thing into an issue of who gets elected next.
This doesn't help anybody if the next election still has The Patriot Act and similar Laws on the books when the dust settles, whether a new party is in power or not.
My feeling is that the issue of whether a candidate is a good candidate is whether or not they are willing to roll back the tide of executive control over the protections that our constitution has traditionally provided us against the attacks of the government on our civil liberties.
A repeal of The Patriot Act would be an excellent start.