Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What I Want in a President

After a long, and to me, odd discussion on Presidential candidates with Rian this evening I have decided that I want to list in some way the characteristics that are most important to me in a President. None of this deals with how to tell if a person has these characteristics, or how to get such a person elected.

I am going to try to number them in the order of importance. I expect that I will forget things or re-order later. Since I feel free to modify what I have already written, be warned.

Oh, and I have had blog posts in my head for ages and haven’t been writing them. Shame on me.

OK, my President

1) Should have as a fundamental goal, the improvement of the health and welfare of all Americans, people in other countries and the earth as a whole.

2) Should be intelligent, able to think quickly and under pressure, be able to absorb new information quickly.

3) Should have long term vision, to be able to foresee as best as possible what the impact of what we do now will be on people and the planet in the future.

4) Should be able to convince, and to wheel and deal with others in power if necessary to get things done. There is no point in being a wonderful idealist if you can’t accomplish anything.

5) Needs to be able to make the hard choices, risking lives to save more, not risking lives over things that aren’t truly worth it. Sometimes a lesser of two evils must be chosen, or one good lost to gain a greater good. So a sense of balance and all the shades of gray.

6) Should have a sense for the People in this country, and what the people as a whole need. Our government is supposed to be “By the people, for the people” not by and for businesses, or the rich above others.

7) Should understand foreign countries, foreign governments and how to help keep our relationships with them good, productive, and for the benefit of people everywhere.

8) Should have the wisdom to be able to change direction when new information arrives that makes such direction changes appropriate.

9) Should be able to choose advisors well, and to be able to keep information flowing amongst them.

10) Should have a keen sense for the importance of knowledge and information, and for their corollaries, education and research to make it available to all.

11) Should have a strong sense of fairness and justice.

12) Needs to be able to rise above attempts to bog them down with small irrelevant stuff, stay focused on the job!

13) Should speak well, be able to transmit important information well, help convince the clueless and the mean-spirited the importance of things that may not superficially seem to immediately benefit an individual.


Things that do NOT matter to me in a President (in no particular order).

Who they have slept with.
Whether they go to church and/or what church they go to.
Whether they have ever lied about personal things, unrelated to the job at hand.
What color clothes they wear.
What color skin they have.
Whether they have ever done illegal drugs.
Whether they have ever told a bad joke.
Whether they have ever changed their minds (though I might expect a nice rational
discussion of why the mind was changed)


Things I do NOT want in a President (in no particular order)

One who sticks to their course even after it is clear it was a bad idea
One who regularly chooses gut feelings or such (horoscopes, messages from God) over rational examinations of information.
One who gives businesses way more priority than people
One who makes sure the rich get richer, even when the poor are getting poorer
One who ignores impact on the environment
One who sifts through data rejecting all that don’t support their plans and accepting only
that that does, in other words ignoring reality to support their agendas
One who silences people based on ideology
One who never bothers to think things through
One whose decisions are based largely on personal (or friends and family) monetary gain
One who ignores the cost in lives and/or human welfare of their policies
One who ignores our constitution forgetting people and their rights, forgetting separation of church and state, etc.