What does it take to be a really good president? What work experience would be useful to someone seeking the highest political office in this country? Have you ever really sat down and thought about this? The idea came to me out of the blue the other day and caused me to consider the qualities and qualifications of a president in a whole new way.

I have always framed this thought as being more of a 'candidate specific' question like "what makes Ronald Reagan more qualified than George H. W. Bush to be president?" Or "what new ideas can Bill Clinton bring to Washington D.C. that are better than Bush's?" and even "what's the difference between Ford and Carter besides the fact one pardoned Nixon?"

I never actually asked myself "what qualities would make a person, any person, be a better president?" or "what kind of work history could a person have that would make them the best possible president?" There are not a whole lot of jobs out there that can prepare someone for a job known as "The Most Powerful Man in the World", with the possible exception of a WWE pro-wrestler, but that's a whole different posting.

Think about the job requirements for a second. Go ahead, I'll wait.......


Scary, huh?

Would you apply for a job that advertised itself as the following;

"Department head wanted to lead one branch of the largest organization in the country. Must be able to thrive under constant and extreme close scrutiny from the press and public. Requires a 24 hour a day commitment for length of employment contract. Must be willing to travel extensively both domestically and internationally. Willing to place personal safety at risk at every public event. Everyday"

"Looking for a charismatic leader who is outgoing, and yet willing to work with obstructionist opposition in an attempt to ensure smooth working relationships across the organization -- as well as with foreign strategic partners. Candidate must be a motivated self-starter with enough confidence in their decision making abilities to assign employees to projects that could be life threatening. A strong working knowledge of government standards, practices, rules and regulations is a must. Interested applicants must be willing to car pool, have experience with basic office equipment and type 75 wpm. Background check required. We are an equal opportunity employer"

I'm not sure I would submit my resume for that job. Especially once I found out how much the compensation package is.

So, what kind of person applies for a job like this? (First thought -- narcissist) But more importantly, if you were the one interviewing prospective candidates, what prior experience would you look for in the people who applied?

I know quite a few Republicans who believe that a career as a business executive gives a candidate real world knowledge of how to run things. Hence we get people like Trump, Fiorina and to a lesser extent, Carson going for the nomination. Although I must say, I'm not sure what works for business will work the same for politics. It sounds good, but remember how G.W. Bush and his business background worked out. The one thing I do know for sure is that while there might very well be elements of these folks backgrounds that would probably help them as president, these three don't stand a chance of actually making it to November 2016.

And that leaves everyone else packed into the clown car on the republican side or the few democrats to choose from - all of which are career politicians. This makes sense if you think about it because it's the only real job experience that would be an asset. Yet I'm not at all convinced this is a positive thing either.

All of these candidates have political experience. Some served as Senators, some in the House of Representatives, some as Governors and one as Secretary of State. Which basically means each candidate understands the process and has a voting history or public records that are available for us to take a look at. This is critical information in deciding who could best run the country.

I'm asking you, dear reader, to look at these candidates closely. Read their Wikipedia pages. Go to websites that are 'friendly' to each candidate and read what they have to say about them. But, just as important, go to unfriendly websites and get the other side too. Go look at each ones voting record or accomplishments from their earlier time in office and compare that to their stated positions today. Listen to what each candidate is saying on the campaign trail and then watch what they actually do to get the nomination. Talk about what you've learned with friends, family and co-workers to make sure you've consider all the various points of view. And when you think you've got a good solid handle on each one... Do it all over again.

Then make up your own mind about who is a better candidate, has the most applicable experience, and who represents your values and concerns.

Now, the key here is to do this without thinking about what party the candidate's belong too. It honestly has no bearing on the decision you have to make. The parties themselves are too full of contradictions and far too obsessed with 'winning at any cost' to be of any value to you regrading this choice. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the nonsense the parties throw out there to keep you from making an informed choice that will achieve maximum common good.

Bottom line; Think for yourself. Why? Because that's the last thing political parties want you to do.

If we can get enough folks to do this, we can take back our government and create the kind of country we can all be proud of.


Eric J. Kiser

Eric J. Kiser

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