Been thinking' about elected officials

Published July 4, 2024

By Joe Mavretic

Now that we have been subjected to a "Debate" between our National President and a former National President, I’ve been thinking about how we get our top political leader.

There are around one hundred thousand cities in America and almost all of them elect a council. Most cities have at least five elected councilpersons plus a mayor. That means that there over 600,000 elected municipal officials in our country, plus locally elected school boards.

There are about three thousand counties in America and just about all of them elect three or more commissioners. So, I think there are at least 9,000 elected county leaders in this country, plus the Soil and Water District Supervisors.

Every state in this union, except Nebraska, has a two-house legislature and a governor. Last time I checked there were about 1,900 elected State Senators, 7,000 elected State Representatives and 50 Governors (one third of all US Presidents have been state governors). There are also several thousand elected state officials like Labor Commissioner or Attorney General.

There are 435 elected US Representatives and 100 elected US Senators.

If you add all these numbers, at any given time, there are over 620,000 elected officials in America, who have successfully campaigned for office and are currently serving, learning, and competing to become our political leaders. Every one of them has chosen to trade their private life for one under public scrutiny. Each has decided to tolerate the invasion and abuse that comes with public office. All are fodder in the endless search for public minutiae that feeds media’s appetite for advertising.

Now think about athletes for a minute, because, if there is anyone we admire, it is our athletes and the training process they go through. Friday night lights, high school softball, swim/gymnastic clubs, basketball, baseball, soccer…competition leading to university scholarships and hopefully an Olympic Gold Medal or selection for a professional team. We even devote a page or more of our newspapers to SPORTS. We cherish stories about how a kid from awful circumstances started playing in the streets and ended in the NFL or NBA or the MAJORS. The competitive crucible of sports produces The Greatest Of All Time-GOAT.

So…I’ve been wondering…from a competitive pipeline of over 620,000 elected political leaders…are Biden and Trump the best we can get???