Presidential qualifications

17 years ago

To the editor:
This morning the fifteenth individual announced his candidacy for President of the U.S. These aspirants vary in race, age, gender, religion, and present vocation.      These would be candidates are taking public positions on various issues, some focusing more on international problems such as the battle with Al Qaeda, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the strife in Palestine, Lebanon, and Israel, our poor relations with North Korea and Iran, misery in Sudan, and the ever-present Mideast oil crisis that looms ahead. Others stress traditional domestic issues like our national debt, our health care problems, the lack of a balanced budget, and others adding divisive, wedge issues like gay marriage, abortion, and flag burning.
Voters need to carefully wade through the political swamp housing these varying issues in order to decide on who they favor to lead our nation, our national reputation, our safety and security, and our way of life. Extreme care needs to be taken not to become sidetracked or hyper focused on one or a very few pet issues at the expense of judging candidates on their whole range of issue position and, I believe, repertoire of leadership skills.
My understanding of political leadership consists of the following traits, one who cherishes, demonstrates, promotes, and enables: compromise, civility, honesty, openness, humility, a willingness and ability to publicly admit mistakes, appointment of officials who have demonstrated skills, results, and attitudes consistent with noble public service, not people who have contributed to his or her campaign or are candidate cronies, one who will quickly dismiss any subordinate who acts contrary to the public welfare, an ability to speak in a way that forwards a good and truthful image, and one who will actively work to build cooperative working relationships between U.S. political parties and between international groups.
The long-standing candidate selection strategies and criteria rarely use my criteria and the results of our past many elections show the grim consequences. We citizens have to vocally demand a greater active voice in the selection process. This demand requires our willingness to take personal part in getting to know who candidates are; to learn about their backgrounds; and to reject media sound bite attempts to blunt our needs. It is our and our children’s futures that are at stake.

Ken Petress
Presque Isle