The Prerequisites a President of the US Should Have

The 2016 presidential election campaign is in full swing as candidates from both parties position themselves to win favor with the American voters. Presidential elections are not trivial matters and should not be based on the media, super PACs, or wealthy campaign donors imaging candidates to match their agenda.

In any process where a decision must be made, that decision is usually based on certain criteria. The selection of a president is no different and although most voters vote along party lines, it is more prudent to apply some basic prerequisites to the process of selecting a president.  These prerequisites should include attributes that demonstrate their character, integrity, diplomacy, and intellect. Using these attributes, I have created the following 10 prerequisites that the president of the US should have:

  1. Proven leadership qualities in politics or the public sector.
  2. A character that is consistent with high moral and ethical standards
  3. An ability to relate genuinely to people of all background.
  4. A good understanding of global and domestic social, political, and economic issues.
  5. A temperament that is established on reason and wisdom and not on emotions.
  6. A visionary who has realistic ideas and how to make America and the world a better place.
  7. Does not have a reputation for making comments that are radical, controversial, or divisive.
  8. Possess the ability to inspire people and unite the country
  9. Is respectful and caring about all people so that they do not make insensitive or offensive comments about vulnerable groups of people.
  10. Consistently demonstrates correct speech (does not disparage, promote propaganda, or have a reputation for criticisms that are unjustifiable).

These 10 prerequisites are politically neutral and should be the standards that voters use in selecting their president. A candidate who meets less than 50 percent of the prerequisites is not likely to be an effective president.  If the 10 prerequisites for president were applied to George Bush (the son), it would be hard to see how he could have met any of them.  It is not surprising then that he made bad decisions that got us into an unjustifiable war that almost caused the economy to collapse.

If you look at all the great presidents such as Abraham Lincoln to our current president, you will find that they meet most if not all of the 10 prerequisites. Many conservatives will disagree that President Obama meets these requirements.  The truth is he has accomplished significant political things that benefit the country despite the relentless effort to obstruct his agenda.  His impeccable character and intellect has helped him to be effective and to overcome the negative schemes of his opponents.

How do the current 2016 presidential candidates match up to the 10 prerequisites listed? To answer this question I divided the candidates into four. Group 1 meets more than 50 percent, Group 2 meets between 30 to 50 percent, Group 3 meets between 20 to 40 percent, and Group 4 meets between 0 to 20 percent.

Group 1Greater than 50 % Group 2Between 30 to 50% Group 3Between 20 t0 40% Group 4Between 0 t0 20%
Hillary Clinton (D)Bernie Saunders (D) Jeb Bush (R)John Kasich (R)Martin O’Malley (D) Marco Rubio (R)Ben Carson (R)Bobby Jindal (R)

Chris Christie (R)

Carla Fiorina (R)

George Pataki (R)

Lindsay Graham (R)


Donald Trump (R)Ted Cruz (R)Mike Huckabee (R)

Rand Paul (R)

Rick Santorum (R)

It may come as a surprise that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Saunders are the only two candidates in Group 1. The reason why no Republicans made it in the Grade 1 category is that when evaluated against the 10 prerequisites they meet only #4.  Despite not liked by conservatives, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Saunders conduct themselves in a manner that meets most of the prerequisites.

Except for the three Republicans in Group 2, most of them find themselves in Groups 3 and 4 (the least electable groups) because they fall short of all the 10 prerequisites. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina’s lack of political experience puts them at a disadvantage (despite their success in the early polls) because they have no political track record to evaluate them on. Their evaluation is based on the things they have said during their campaign – most of which do not comport with the 10 prerequisites.

The Republican candidates with political experience include three former governors, three current governors, four current senators and one former senator. In For them there is plenty of information on which to evaluate them. Despite their experience though, they have no substantive accomplishments (at the national level for senators and the state level for the governors) or attributes that make them a good presidential candidate.

When you have politicians like those in Group 3 and 4 who supported shutting down the government, signing the letter to the Iran Ayatollah, constantly calling for the repeal of ObamaCare, constantly bashing President Obama, and making comments that are controversial and divisive, it is hard to see how these candidates could be a good president.

Americans need to be more objective and elect a president that has demonstrated they have qualities that would help them make good decisions, and not say controversial things that are divisive. Above all, they should not let the media influence them in deciding who is a good or bad presidential candidate.