Sunday, September 04, 2011


Ranking Presidents?

How do we qualifiy a man to be President?

I would venture that none of the presidents actually trained to be the President, and therefore learned quite largely on the job what it means to run the administrative branch of the government, and the nation. I suspect further that few of them knew in any real detail just how things worked in Washington before they became President, nor did they grasp the wide-ranging subjects that had to be handled daily, or the external influences that may drive their every day. I do not know how to account easily (at this moment) for party affiliation or the makeup of Congress in ranking their success, but it must be a significant factor. I agree that executive experience per se may not be a telling differentiator.

Of all the traits one could wish upon a candidate for president, and I can readily think of several dozen, I select these four as crucial: prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. Of course, if you believe in the Unity of Virtues concept, having these four just about guarantees the rest will be favorable also!

How one could directly measure these traits before or during a campaign, I haven't a clue. It is simply an inner perception of worth. I do believe that if my candidate scored 8.5 to 9.0 or better on all three by some method he would end up ranking rather high on the list, as in my opinion did Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and some others in these very traits.

Has any scholar attempted to rank the presidents specifically on such key virtues by some effective criteria, through their decisions, writings, or speeches for example, rather than by averaging polls?



Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?