Recent polls made me feel sad and old because they indicated 34 felony convictions would not change the votes of half of Iowans for president.

I remember when a presidential candidate was considered disqualified because a tear came to his eye when defending a political attack on his wife (Ed Muske). I remember a vice presidential candidate being disqualified for having had mental health treatment (Thomas Eagleton).

One presidential candidate was even disqualified for an overly exuberant yell after winning the Iowa caucuses (Howard Dean) and another for having an affair on a boat called “Monkey Business” (Gary Hart). Remember when a U.S. Senator from Iowa was deemed unelectable because he used a credit card at a message parlor (Roger Jepsen)?

Now it seems we can forget all those fuddy-duddy notions of propriety and character. Most Iowans seem prepared to give the nuclear button to a man who will not be allowed to carry a gun or hold a liquor license.

For 250 years U.S. Presidents have neither wanted nor needed immunity from “official” criminal acts. It only becomes necessary if a criminal is voted into office.

David Mansheim


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