Fireside Topic: What are the manly qualities that make a good president?

ronald-reagan“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” – President Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004

Election season is upon us, and while it isn’t a presidential year, it’s still a good idea to begin thinking about the qualities and characteristics for the next president. If you aren’t an American, this article and question still applies, supposing that you have some say in who leads your nation. As the presidential race draws nearer — and we can be sure it will start sooner than any of us want — the potential candidates will be divided up based on party line but also whatever the hot topic happens to be at the time: war, social issues, taxes, social security, etc. The one thing we (the people) will have a hard time parsing out is the actual character of the men and women pandering for our votes. Yet, when we elect someone we are getting the whole person, flaws and all, not just someone who will side with us on the issue of the day.

As a boy, Regan was my president. Even as a little kid I would sit on the couch and watch him address the nation. Of course, he may have been talking about things which were over my head, but I just enjoyed him, his personality, his kindness and resoluteness. There is a part of me, as an adult, that wants to see a man like that come into office again. At the same time I have read about presidents like Calvin Coolidge, who, while being clever and a good speaker, was rather reserved in many other respects. Would a candidate like Coolidge fit your bill? Or, are you looking for a Putin-esque or Rooseveltian (Theodore of course) leader?

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Do you want someone who looks and acts presidential? i.e. suit, smile, ivy league college
  • How do they show good character in their personal life?
  • Where they have served, are the people better for it?
  • What do people in their hometown say about them?
  • Would you have confidence in this person if we were under attack?
  • Are they able to speak off-topic? You know, just relate to people rather than sticking to a script?

So, what qualities matter to you in a president? And, how do you determine whether or not the candidates have those qualities when so much of what we see is a façade?

- Fireside Topic articles are interesting topics to get men talking. Find a few friends and throw a question out there and see what develops. Read more here. -

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