I didn't know why at first but upon hearing the announcement by Arnold Schwarzenegger that he is running for governor of California, I knew I had the subject of my next column. No, it wasn't because of Schwarzenegger's accompanying comment that it was the toughest decision he's made since opting for a bikini wax in 1978 or that the announcement was made during a taping of "The Tonight Show," with Jay Leno.
It was because of the idea that a rank amateur could at the same time joke around and state seriously he had the qualities to govern a state the size of California. I see it no different from nonCPAs being given a majority role in the regulation of CPAs.
In both situations, either there is a naivete or a false belief that the individual has the requisite knowledge that it took other individuals years to acquire. There also is a trivialization of what the professional actually does.
You will notice that they both have something else in common. The media love both the accounting scandals and actors running for political office. The result is a self-created media frenzy with the scandals, and the political race taking a life upon itself. There is no need to have a serious discussion on the merits because they don't translate into good ratings.
The problem with all this is that it might arguably make "good TV, " but certainly, in my mind, doesn't promote good government or effective accounting. But then again someday, we might have Jesse Ventura running for president against Jerry Springer. Or it might be a three-way race, if you throw in Martin Sheen. Then we would really be talking about trivialization and false realities.
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