Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for September 5th, 2008

What Previous Occupation Prepares one to be The President of the United States?

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Lately, there has been a lot of talk of what occupation better prepares one to be President of the United States or what set of experiences makes one the more likely choice for president or even the importance of how much experience one has at a certain occupation.  It got me to wondering about past presidents and what there previous occupations were and how those occupations may or may not have had a direct correlation to the presidency.

After this cursory bit of research, I realized that maybe occupation and experience are not the criteria we should use to select our next  president.  Maybe, we should be looking at what kind of leader the candidate would be.  Now, there are many types of leaders so maybe the first order of business would be to choose the type of leader that would make you more comfortable.  Then, it would be important to choose the attributes that you would find important in a leader of your nation. So for now, here is what I am looking for in the next president of the United States:

-the ability to speak coherently and intelligently about a myriad of subjects.  This attribute is necessary so that he does not embarrass us at home or abroad by misspeaking or miscommunicating our policies as a nation.

-the ability to listen.  I want someone who will listen to other viewpoints and weigh consequences before making decisions.  

-the ability to know that it is not about him but about US.  The president of the United States should make every decision based on how it will affect our nation not only today but seven generations from now.

-the ability to surround himself with people more talented than him so he gets the best advice possible.  This attribute will become EXTREMELY important when choosing a cabinet to guide us.     

-the ability to talk to the American public like we have a brain.  I am SO tired of elected officials acting like “they know what is best for the masses”.  We are, after all, on the ground and know better than those who live within the beltway the pulse of our economy, our educational system, our banking system., our social services safety net.

-the ability to step away from sound bites and ACTUALLY tell it like it is.  If the next president doesn’t do this, a huge opportunity will be lost.  

-the ability to embrace the idea that we are in the 21st century and old models will no longer work to make our nation as a whole more prosperous.  Time is shifting and we need to shift as well if we are going to be where we should be.  

Five out of seven will probably make it for me because if one of the candidates has that many abilities, there will definitely be hope.  Oh yeah,  did I mention hope.  Hope is a big one for me because actually, the American people have the ability to do a whole hell of a lot on their own, but only if they have hope.

Many who read this will find this simplistic but maybe it is.  Could we have made it way too hard recently?  Could we be so intent on what keeps us apart that we have failed to see what keeps us together?  Is that the function of a president?  Is he the one who helps us stay focused leaving it up to the rest of us to make it better?  After all, if we truly wanted a manager wouldn’t we be looking somewhere else? 

I believe that our forefathers set up a great government way back when.  How could they have known how important the checks and balances of a judicial, executive, and legislative branch would be?  How would they know that in the coming years that those checks and balances would be used again and again to keep our country alive and strong?  And most of all, how would they have known how important it would be to guard against presidents who would be king or presidents who just weren’t up to snuff or that others who really had never shone in any other occupation would become giants among men? And, although, the media and the political parties would have us think that who we choose for our next president will make us or break us,  I seriously doubt it.  Does that mean I don’t want to make a fair and balanced choice when I cast my ballot?  No, but I sure think it brings some things into perspective.   I hold the cards just like every other voter who will cast a vote in November.  Let’s make them work for our vote.     

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 5th, 2008 at 5:44 pm