Contrary to popular belief, the US is not a democracy, the US is a republican democracy. Being a republican democracy, the populous votes on a person who represents their voice an opinion. If the US was a democracy, considering it's size, the nation would have fallen long ago. A democracy, that is to say a direct democracy, would have too many conflicts of interest in a society with many different people with different modes of thinking. Population influx in such a society would also damage the process and make a direct democracy function. While a direct democracy sounds fair, it's only stable in small communities. The solution to this, and to allow the common people to get their voices heard, is through a republican democracy. In such a system, the people still have a democratic process that isn't hindered by conflicts of interest in the population. A republican democracy may be the perfect form of government, but even it is doomed to fail if it is run improperly.
All people are capable of running for a political position in the republic. However, not all people should run for position in a republic, that is to say unless they're well versed on the constitution of the state and the union. Understanding which laws violate the rights of the constitution and which ones benefit is necessary to passing proper laws. Perverting the constitution of state and union to fit the idea of a bill or law is immoral and unjustifiable and should not be done. A great amount of respect to the constitutions should be shown for it provides the best liberties given, and not false liberties as said by some people. Protection of rights is not a false liberty, and should not be addressed as such.
Knowing the constitution alone is not the only way in which a member should base his candidacy on. A person who is interested in running should also be knowledgeable in ethical and social issues as well, and should be open minded and examine them from all angles. From there the republican should determine which side of the position that should taken on said issue which benefits the constituents of their district. If the position is not popular the candidate should try passively try explaining why that side of the issue is the one they decided to take. If the candidate can not convince their constituents that the issue is relevant, they should vote against it provided the case isn't the majority taking away the rights of a minority.
Ethical issues and political philosophy go hand in hand. A person running for office should also be knowledged in political philosophy. Studying philosophy helps sharpen one's knowledge and rhetoric skills, and is an important part of politics. Understanding the wisdom of the ancestors of the US' political system and other political systems also shows one how to develop their own thinking skills. The wisdom passed on from philosophers should be taken and developed on to advance the future. If the words of the dead die out, then surely society will die with them.
The final mention of importance in running a healthy republic is to keep the executive branch out of the system. Over recent years, presidents and governors have interfered with the lawmaking process in state capitals and Washington D.C. and have only hurt the process. The role of the executive is not to draw up or make laws, it's to simply address the union and give speeches. The president should also address foreign affairs and play the, not an, active role in diplomacy. The role of the governor varies from state to state, but in Illinois the role of the governor is to appoint administrators, propose budgets to the General Assembly once a year, and to grant pardons and call for special elections. The role of both is to also act as commander in chief of the militaries. Acting in the role of law making for these becomes a distraction, and all such powers should be left directly to the legislative branches. This is how to keep up a healthy republic, and such words should be taken seriously.