The prerequisites for becoming President of the United States, according to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution is that you must be a natural born citizen of the United States, 35 years of age, and a United States resident for 14 years. In 1787, these were excellent requirements.

A lot has changed

Fast forward 230 years. Hydrogen and atomic bombs were created well after the Constitution. Technology and innovation have created both greater opportunities but equally significant threats. Men have flown to the moon, and even that accomplishment is now seriously dated.

The dynamics of foreign policy and diplomacy can quickly become a quandary. God only knows all the secrets that our darling America holds. So, it is the fundamental responsibility of the President to protect her.

DOS does its best

The idea of looking out for America's best interests isn't a novel one. After all, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has adopted practices to prevent classified information from getting into the wrong hands. The wrong hands being one that does not have the 'self-discipline and integrity' to be "entrusted with the nation's secrets." Their website gives a lovely explanation on the breadth and depth of Security Clearance reviews titled, "Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information." To directly quote the DOS website, it considers:

  • 'Factors that could cause a conflict of interest and place a person in the position of having to choose between his or her commitment to the United States, including the commitment to protect classified information, and any other compelling loyalty.'
  • 'When a person's life history shows evidence of unreliability or untrustworthiness, questions arise whether the person can be relied on and trusted to exercise the responsibility necessary for working in a secure environment where protecting classified information is paramount.'

Security clearance reviews

The DOS goes on to list thirteen different guidelines that frame their adjudicative process to include allegiance, foreign influences and preferences, sexual behavior, personal conduct, financial considerations, controlled substance use, psychological conditions, criminal conduct, handling protected information, outside activities and use of computer systems.

Would Trump pass?

So, to all fellow Americans - do you think President Trump could obtain a security clearance if he had to apply for one? Do you believe it is fair for the leader of the free world to seriously falter in any of these areas and still be eligible to be President of the United States? Let's evaluate what we know about President Trump concerning the guidelines set forth by the DOS.

A quick review of the thirteen guidelines is troubling.

Allegiance to the United States

Among the list of what may disqualify a person is associations or sympathy with persons or organizations that threaten or use force or any illegal or unconstitutional means to influence the United States government. Interestingly, US Congressional committees are investigating Russia's interference with the election, which at a minimum, raises great suspicion about Trump's allegiance.

Sexual Behavior

There are a few points within this description, but if one reflects on the guideline about "engaging in sexual behavior of a public nature that reflects a lack of discretion and judgment," Trump might not pass. During Trump's presidential campaign, the Washington Post released a recorded conversation from 2005, between the then-presidential nominee and Billy Bush of Access Hollywood where he admitted to making sexual advances at a married woman and used rather explicit, derogatory remarks.

Psychological Conditions

The State Dept. states that 'certain emotional, mental, and personality conditions can impair judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness' could cause an individual not to receive a security clearance.

They also note that a formal diagnosis isn't needed. Psychotherapist, John Gartner started a petition that has gathered 60,000 signatures from licensed mental health professionals who feel Trump is mentally ill and should be removed from office.

Financial Considerations

The evaluation guidelines mention an unwillingness to pay debts or a history of not meeting financial obligations. USA Today reported that Trump was involved in more than 100 tax disputes and the State of New York Finance Department has obtained liens on his property at least three times for unpaid taxes. Everyone is still waiting for Trump to release his tax returns.

Does it matter?

Even considering these few guidelines, it is evident there is a good chance that Trump couldn't pass a security clearance if he had to.

What is incongruent is the person who is most privy to the most classified information in our nation, doesn't have to be evaluated for any mental, moral or financial fitness to fulfill the office of President of the United States. Truthfully, it is not Trump's fault. The fact of the matter is, no legislative body has required him to at the expense of his position as President of the United States. There is nothing written in the Constitution about having to pass a security clearance to be President. God bless the Framers, who couldn't have possibly envisioned that such a character would be President of the United States.