Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Next President of the USA

Soon Americans will be electing a new leader of the United States of America. The election is about 15 months away. Already, I am sick of the rhetoric of the current candidates. The current president is as much of a lame duck as I have seen in my lifetime. It's embarrassing to have a president who is often unable to express his thoughts cleanly. It gives one the impression of extreme ineptitude regardless of the intent and possible underlying intelligence.

So, the questions are... Who will the next American President be? What moral character is required? What intelligence level is required? What leadership skills are required? and.. What experience is required?

Having spent a lot of time in Los Angeles this past summer, I have gotten a good look at Hollywood and the Beach Cities. I have seen the likes of people who say there is the east coast, the west coast, and Jesusland inbetween. Well, as someone from Jesusland, I am not very impressed with intelligence that I see displayed by the average Angeleno. There is something about Los Angeles that brings out the worst in people. One of the most noticable detractions is stunted intelligence. A lot of this is due to the incredible melting pot of cultures. My point here is not to rail on the city of Los Angeles or it's people. My point is, here is one of the most advanced cities on earth, and I am questioning the intelligence I see on the street. It begs the question, who is actually voting for the next President and what are they looking for?

Or, does it even matter what people think? It may already be decided by power brokers and people with money.

What do you think?



Marc said...

You wrote:

"So, the questions are... Who will the next American President be? What moral character is required? What intelligence level is required? What leadership skills are required? and.. What experience is required?"

Moral character? Well, we'd all like our president to have high moral standards, but how essential is it to performing their duties (excluding criminal immorality)? Jimmy Carter was considered to have high moral standards, but is widely regarded to have been a poor president.

Bill Clinton goes without saying, yet the economy boomed and deficit spending ended (thanks in no small part to a Republican-controlled congress), and the world's opinion of the US was high (not everywhere of course, we'll never be universally popular), and the international community still considers Bill a positive representative of our country.

W? By most accounts he's a moral man (though condoning waterboarding and other KGB-perfected "interrogation" techniques casts a dark shadow on that). Yet clearly the reputation of the US has suffered immensely under his reign, our military is being ground into the dirt, and although there's always contention on the degree of economic success, I think it's fair to say that some higher-end sectors of the economy have fared better than others.

Intelligence?I don't know if the key to success is what you know so much as it being aware of what you don't know, and then filling in those gaps with other's expertise. The best managers I've worked for were very aware that they weren't the experts on everything, and took pains to put together a smart and independent-minded staff around them, and then listen to them.

Leadership This is key, if hard to pin down exactly what it means. I think of it as having a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and then understand how to get people, whether they're programmers or legislators, to communicate and find common ground, so as to make progress towards those goals.

Despite what comes out in political rhetoric, the "other party", whichever one it is, does not actually want to destroy America. And the relentless vitriol of that kind of polarization does no one any good.

Experience I think Obama really nailed this one:

"Judgment can be borne out of experience. It would be nice to think the more experience we get, the better our judgment is. But I don't think that's the case. I mean, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have an awful lot of experience, and yet have engineered what I think is one of the biggest foreign policy failures in our recent history. So I would say the two most important things are judgment and vision."

It's judgment, tied in with leadership, that I think are the essential qualities for an American president.

Dan said...

Moral Character is important to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.

Marc said...

Agreed. And I doubt any of the current mainstream presidential candidates are struggling with their moral character.

Bryan said...

Sorry to break up the Marc & Dan Show (but I can call myself either Marc or Dan if it will make things easier!).

The next president will be either Hillary Clinton (assuming she doesn't experience an unexpected bump in the road on her way to the nomination) or a Republican-to-be-named-later.

The nomination process itself makes most of the factors you discuss more-or-less irrelevant. Democrats need to play to the left wing, and Hillary has done the best job of that without frittering away her mainstream appeal.

On the other hand, as Karl Rove has correctly pointed out, Clinton has quite a few negatives in public perception. The game changes entirely during a national election, and conservative candidates have some built-in advantages.

What moral character is required? Sufficient distance from scandal, and a generic form of religion.

What leadership skills are required? There are no hard & fast requirements, but if you can organize well enough to win the presidency then you can organize well enough to lead the government (we won't discuss how well).

What experience is required?
That's up to the voter. The modern nomination process favors former governors, so experience as an executive administrator may be called a requirement. Foreign policy experience is down the list of priorities a bit (not a forte of governors).

Marc said...

bryan said:

"The modern nomination process favors former governors, so experience as an executive administrator may be called a requirement."

This is true. I believe the last sitting member of congress to be elected president was John Kennedy.

Politics and legislation is a matter of compromise and consensus, so legislators sometimes find themselves voting for things they're against, and against things they're for, in order to achieve their longer-term goals.

Unfortunately the strategy, tactics, and nuance behind such votes takes some time to explain, far more than can be conveyed or rebutted in a 30 second campaign commercial.

Bryan said...

Voters tend to go with the candidate about whom they feel most comfortable regarding the most important issue of the day.

Bush (terrorism) > Kerry (econ./Iraq)

Anonymous said...

Well if Doctor and former congressman Ron Paul is elected to represent the republican party in the 2008 election the republican party (and the american people) will win with ~80% chance or more nomatter who is elected on the democratic party.

Join us people! :)

Because Ron Paul is a honest man. He has the best policies and he has worked a long time in Congress and he knows how the system works.

Abolishing of the federal reserve who has cost so much for the american people over the years in blood and money.

Abolishing of the federal income tax which is unconstitutional and which money go to wallstreet, and NOT to help the american society.

Secured borders.

Free marked without government bureaucrats sneeking in every corner.

No wiretapping of the people. Removal of the Patriot act which legalize torture on civilian american.

OUT of Iraq, now! Not in 2013 like Obama or Hillary want.

Ron Paul is one of the most popular candidates on the internet and he has von more straw polls than any other candidate.
Please spread the words we need that man in office.

Ron Paul for president 2008 ;-)

Marc said...

I'm genuinely glad Ron Paul is in the race, since he really shakes up the Republican party and presidential race, which is something they both desperately need.

One nit though:

"Abolishing of the federal income tax which is unconstitutional"

The federal income tax is not unconstitutional. The 16th Amendment, ratified on Feb 3, 1913, states:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

By ratification, this amendment became an intrinsic part of the Constitution, and unless and until it is repealed, the collection of federal income taxes is fully constitutional.