Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by jada. jada Wonders, “can a 10 year old be president” Thanks for WONDERing with us, jada!
Do you ever talk about politics with your friends or family members? For many kids, politics seems like a subject that’s mainly just for adults. After all, it can be difficult to keep up with all the policies, positions, and debates.
For some kids, however, politics seems like a natural calling. Perhaps you have a parent, friend, or family member who holds a political position. When you know someone who holds a political office, it’s much easier to take a personal interest in the things they do.
Of course, politics affects all of us. That’s true whether you pay much attention to it or not. And some kids start to get involved in politics from an early age. Many run for positions in student government. This gives them a taste of politics and what it means to represent others.
Some of our Wonder Friends may have even thought about being President of the United States. What do you think it would be like to hold this position? Would you like to live in the White House? Wouldn’t it be cool to fly on Air Force One? You can be anything if you set your mind to it. So do you want to be President of the United States?
Don’t worry, there’s no big rush to decide! You have plenty of time to make a plan that will get you to the White House. Why? Kids can’t be President of the United States!
That may seem unfair—especially if you have many ideas for improving the nation. However, the U.S. Constitution has some pretty strict rules about who can be President. They’re found in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. According to that section, the President of the United States must:
- be a natural-born citizen of the United States;
- be at least 35 years old; and
- have been a permanent resident of the United States for at least 14 years.
Obviously, requiring a president to be at least 35 years old rules out kids. Is that fair? Given the responsibility of the position, it’s probably a good idea. The president needs to have finished school and gained some life experience before taking over as head of the executive branch of the federal government. After all, the President of the United States is responsible for upholding the nation’s democracy.
What does it mean to be a natural-born citizen of the United States? It means that you were born either in the U.S. or with at least one parent who is a citizen. That means people who become U.S. citizens after moving there from another country cannot be President. However, they can still run for other political offices.
So, if you want to be President of the United States one day, you now know the basic requirements. Of course, to reach your goal, you’re going to need much more than these three basic conditions fulfilled. You will need to gain experience that will make you an acceptable candidate to millions of people across the country. Researching the history of past presidents will help you gain an understanding of the many paths that different individuals have taken to the White House.
Standards: C2.D2.Civ.1, C3.D2.Civ.5, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1