qualities necessary in a president

Let’s be respectfully blunt today; as we’ve been discussing, neither of our two most recent presidents are all that popular. Such is why they spend enormous amounts of energy attempting to keep others out of the race instead of adding to their own support. In order to be victorious, they have to limit our choice. Hence, the all too clear co-dependency of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Hence, their desperate need for one another. Hence, what may be most disturbing about this upcoming election. We crave better. We crave more in the President of the United States.

In search of what’s better and wiser we asked persons what they would instead like to see. What qualities are necessary in a President? What are the traits that would make one popular? … or at least more effective and clearly, make one good at the job?

What a response. We’ve combined the feedback for clarity purposes. Let’s begin with the response that was by far and away the attribute most frequently desired; the President should be a person of noted integrity. No ifs, ands or buts. Integrity should never be in question.

Three other attributes were strongly stated by many; our President should be wise, honest and intelligent. 

More words were used to describe our ideal leader. It’s a solid list:

Accountable. Alacritous. Authentic. Business-smart. Civil. Collaborative. Courageous. Decisive. Diplomatic. Discerning. Empowering. Even-tempered. Humble. Kind. Principled. Relational. Resilient. Respectful. Self-aware. Selfless. Strong. Trustworthy. Visionary. And well-spoken.

They should be persons known as the following: 

  • An active listener
  • An appreciator of constitutional law
  • A defender of democracy
  • A great communicator
  • An intentional solicitor of others’ opinions
  • A proven leader
  • An ongoing learner
  • A uniter

Their resume should include experience in:

  • Business (including budgets, finance and prudent spending)
  • Executive decision making
  • International affairs
  • And the military

There were some unique but seemingly significant suggestions, most notably wanting our President to be:

  • Capable of leadership on a global stage
  • Possessing a high capacity and thus able to meet the incredible demands of the job
  • Surrounded by experts — not buddies
  • Willing to accept ideas from their perceived opponents
  • And younger than 70 years old

There are also some things we do not want our nation’s highest leader to be:

  • Not a divider
  • Not easily rattled or prone to insult
  • Not a frequent user of executive orders
  • And not the leader of a singular, political party any longer — forgetting they represent all the people

Interestingly, no person shared that our President be a specific party member, gender, ethnicity or other demographic characteristic. In fact, several commented via various expression that the President represent all, favor no one, and possess no limited, partisan or personal agenda. 

(Some — no doubt in light of our current scenario — suggest that the exemplary candidate would also not have any orange hair and be capable of walking up a full flight of stairs, but I will refrain from expounding at the moment.)

Two other thoughts shared by others that I think are worthy of thoughtful consideration…

One person wishes our President’s past would contain very little political experience. Why? Because multiple contemporary politicians are too influenced by money and power. If it’s true that people become like the five people they spend the most time with, more political experience could indeed be a strong negative.

And lastly, another considerate contributor shared that our leader needs to prioritize what “benefits Americans and our nation as a whole rather than political party allegiance.” As a proud Missourian, they reminded us of the state motto to “let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” 

If our President truly cared for the welfare of all people — meaning commonsense and common ground — they would be effective and very good at the job. Maybe even popular, too.