What is the number one quality you are looking for in a president? Reader responses to my last article, “Must a President Be Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?“, were enlightening.
On the one hand, there were the expected, polar opposite evaluations of President Obama, including these two: “Wise, well-educated, courageous, pragmatic, honest. IOW [in one word], Obama,” in contrast with, “Uninspired, indecisive, inexperienced, unable to learn, unwilling to change, IOW, Barry Soetoro.”
There were also questions regarding the inaccessibility of his school transcripts: “How did the democrats know what George W’s grades were and now Perry’s grades were? Is there some law that says democratic presidents’ grades and all their background are totally private but dems can look up GOP’s grades?” And, “We don’t need to see his grades to know that he never took an economics class.”
In general, however, there was a consensus that good grades in school don’t necessarily predict future success: “Anyone who has been a teacher knows that grades are, at best, an incomplete measure of ability,” since, “Formal education and intelligentsia are totally different issues. . . . The one thing that can be taken to the bank is that judging someone’s ability by academic achievement alone is a BIG mistake.” Accordingly, “Retention of random knowledge is useless if one cannot apply it to new and unique situations.” Or, in more disparaging terms, “Anyone who looks into the drivel taught in most college classrooms isn’t going to spend a lot of time worrying about Rick Perry’s college credentials. The biggest fools in America work as professors at the most elite universities.”
So, if having excellent college grades is not a high priority, what are the most important qualities you are looking for in a president, and which one was at the top of the list?
Patriotism ranked high, but shouldn’t we take for granted that the president of the United States would be a patriot? The answer to that question suggests that many who are unhappy with President Obama feel that in certain ways he is not proud to be an American. And so, “we should pick someone that truly loves America” and adheres “to the credo that the United States is and should always be THE exceptional nation,” someone with “a sincere faith in and love of America and its people.” This person should also have, “An absolutely firm belief in the Founders and the Constitution and First Principles” and an “unwavering respect for and support of The Constitution and the rule of law.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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