In a world where being an actor, a rock star, or sex video vixen is sufficient qualification for people to sit up and pay attention to your ideas about how to solve world poverty, it comes as no great shock that Wyclef Jean has decided to run for President of Haiti. Herewith, we attempt two arguments in favor of the former Fugees frontman’s candidacy, and two against. In Favor:
- Wyclef Jean demonstrated his impressive grasp of global political issues, including consequences of ethnic strife, with his song “A Million Voices.”
- His single “If I was president” shows his understanding of social issues. Plus, the song reveals deeper roots of his interest in the Haitian presidency: it was released in 2008.
- The scandal over Yéle Haiti, which forced Jean to defend himself tearfully on Oprah, hinted that (at worst) he is capable of misappropriating funds intended for charity, and (at best) he is an incompetent manager with a fuzzy concept of accountability. In either case, the Yéle affair may just hint that he lacks the expertise to run a small NGO, which is rather little compared to a country.
- The "open letter" in the Huffington Post announcing his candidacy explains why he wants to be president, but does not provide much (or, actually, any) info as to why he is qualified to be president. (Even most of us in our high school days applying for jobs like window washers had to say something about our qualifications and previous experience.)
If we are being too tough on you, Mr. Jean, TIME magazine gives you rather more serious consideration here. Also check out their interview with an image consultant on Lindsay Lohan's impending jail release.