Will an overwhelming majority of Americans ever be supportive of a president again? I’m referring to a plurality in the high 50s or more.
During the past several administrations, voters have tested new personality traits in leadership positions. The experiment has not been so rewarding as no president in recent years has mustered and kept a strong mandate among American voters. Moreover, the political venom between the two major parties has seldom been worse. Americans either love or hate with their heart and soul the men who have led this country for the past several decades.
It’s interesting to consider the qualities of a president that would be attractive to a diverse number of Americans. Leadership, integrity, intelligence, empathy, support of our Constitution and recognition of the many evildoers in the country and the world that want to harm our lives and society are just a few. Unfortunately, recent presidents have fallen short on important characteristics that can help make a president great. I fully recognize that there is a wide range of opinions regarding the attraction or aversion of each president.
Often times, changing or evolving political preferences of politicians have cause voters to withdraw their support. A conservative who thinks that a candidate has all the qualities needed to be effective, may not vote for a candidate who is for abortion or open borders.
Americans pick their leaders for different reasons. Some want presidential candidates who act like leaders. Some want effective leaders who are able to deal with other countries. Some want those that can form a consensus or a coalition. And some will vote for a person who has the same perspective on cultural and social issues such as the right to life, gun control and the like.
I believe more than a majority of Americans vote for a person because they agree with the candidate’s perspectives on only one issue. If you’re a union person, you will vote for a pro union candidate regardless of how the candidate feels about Russia or climate change. If your candidate agrees with your perspectives on birth control, they may avoid casting a ballot for candidate supportive of unions.
I think it is folly to vote for candidates based solely upon their experiences. Character matters greatly. Honesty is important. The ability to lead is critical. A candidate whose only experience is writing laws on Capitol Hill for many years may not be the best choice. Can the person negotiate across the aisle? Does the candidate appreciate the cultural backgrounds of his constituents?
Just because a man or a woman may have been a CEO of a large corporation does not mean either can lead the most advanced country in the world. The last president was a perfect example of this phenomenon.
It would be impossible to set out all the traits we want in our presidents. Rather, looking back and pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of other presidents could be an interesting exercise.
Jimmy Carter was probably one of the most intelligent presidents in history. And yet, his administration was a dismal failure because he was not strong or shrewd enough to gain the freedom of Americans being held hostage by Iran’s newly formed theocracy.
Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, started off with a bang. He in no uncertain terms threatened severe consequences if the aforementioned hostages were not released immediately. They were. Reagan was a great president in one way that is quite revealing. He assembled a cadre of advisers that was second to none, and he followed their advice. Look up the members of his cabinet. You will recognize and admire many of them.
George Bush 1 was probably the most experienced president. He was a congressman, head of the CIA and vice president under Reagan. He had the pedigree to be great. But he added the words “no new taxes” to a speech and failed to keep his promise. He lost his reelection campaign.
Bill Clinton’s libido brought him down. He was dynamic, attractive, intelligent and he took control of the country as it was recovering economically. Most people like Bill, but he is a scalawag.
George Bush 2 grew into the job with the help of experienced advisors. Some people questioned his intelligence, which was uncalled for and ridiculous in my opinion. He led the country through difficult times including 9/11 and subsequent confrontations with Iraq.
Barack Obama was probably one of the most inexperienced presidents in history. He was popular and smashed through the racial glass ceiling. He was a loner, as a leader, and his performance suffered because of it. Politically, he was inept in spite of winning two national elections.
Donald Trump is a narcissist and was a horrible president. Enough said.
The jury is still out on Joe Biden. One of the main concerns is that he might not be capable, physically and/or mentally, to lead the country effectively. The ramifications of this are extremely serious. For one thing, he will be influenced greatly by the people that he picked to advise him. In this regard, as payment for helping him get elected, he has chosen very progressive individuals that are not interested in working on a bipartisan basis and will take the country down a path of radical liberalism, if not socialism. Unbridled spending and attempting to cure domestic evils of the last 200 years during the course of one administration could make it difficult for Joe Biden to be successful.
Are there any JFKs or Abraham Lincolns or Teddy Roosevelt out there? If so, I wish they would step up and run for office.