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Jim Hanson, Fargo, Published April 30 2012

Nation has developed a strange barometer for measuring success

Could someone much wiser than I please explain why being a success in business and attaining wealth is a negative? I guess because Mitt Romney is a wealthy man, he must be a dismal failure and know nothing about business, kind of like Col. Sanders knew nothing about chicken, J.C. Penney and Sam Walton knew nothing about retail – after all, weren’t they all complete failures?

What is the barometer that determines if a person has done a good job and performed well in their business? It sounds like people want to believe lawyers and politicians are business experts and, of course, understand the “common” man.

What is the barometer for success in the sports world? If we are to apply the same logic to sports and entertainment icons as we seem to for political candidate’s abilities, then Michael Jordan and Larry Byrd are dismal failures and know nothing about basketball. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson know nothing about golf, and it astonishes me that anyone would follow them in a tournament or, worse yet, pay them to endorse their products. Certainly The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley never had anyone emulate them or attend any of their concerts because, after all, what the hell did they know about music or entertainment?

I guess the Republicans should find a candidate with no traceable history, no business background and someone who could come up with a fancy slogan like “hope and change.”

I have had a hard time understanding many mysteries in life, but why being a success means you don’t relate to people or understand life completely baffles me. I guess President Barack Obama’s record of $5 trillion of debt and 9 percent unemployment is proof positive that having no business experience but still being a millionaire certainly qualifies you and helps you do a good job being president.