The President of the United States is one of the most powerful figures in the world of modern politics. This person is in charge of the economy, foreign relations, and military activities of the country that is considered one of the most important global players. Therefore, the requirements that the President of such a country should meet are probably much higher than in other smaller states. It is obvious that there could be no perfect president as no person can behave in the way that would satisfy everybody, but there should be a number of qualities that are obligatory for the US President. They are honesty, goal and achievement orientation, a perfect knowledge of world economics and politics, charisma and great negotiation skills, and the ability to keep cool in difficult situations. This essay explores why these qualities are important for the US President and studies how they are reflected in the current presidential nominees – Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
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Honesty should be an absolute must for any politician as they are elected in a democratic way by the people who trust them. Telling lies to these people is a moral crime as their trust is the most significant achievement and asset of any politician. In case of the US President, these aspects become even more important as it goes about the trust of the country with 324 million people, the third most populous country in the world (Haugen, Musser, & Berger, 2012). It does not mean that the President should always be immaculate and make no mistake because it is not realistic, but admitting mistakes and doing everything possible to eliminate their consequences is also a part of what honesty is. It is quite difficult to say that Clinton and Trump are both perfect candidates in this sense. Both of them were not completely honest with the US people, but, in my opinion, Hilary Clinton had showed more dignity and logic in accepting those mistakes and explaining their nature to the public. This quality is very important as, in my opinion, mistakes made by the president are less harmful to his or her reputation than the inability to accept them and show their reasons to the people.
The President of the United States should be focused on real changes and achievements that he or she wants to make in different spheres. The United States has certain problems with the national debt, foreign policy, immigrant laws, health care and some other areas, so the President should have a clear plan of how to eliminate these problems or at least minimize their negative effect. Both Trump and Clinton, according to their biographies, have showed that they are able to achieve their goals (Bernstein, 2007; D’Antonio, 2015). Although their sphere of expertise is quite different, they have significant achievements that prove their ability to cope with the national problems. Clinton, for instance, was very effective at her post as United States Secretary of State, working on strengthening the US foreign policy, the improvement of health care, etc. (Burlingame, 2008). Trump showed excellent skills as a businessman while managing the Trump Organization (D’Antonio, 2015).
Another important quality for the US President is an excellent knowledge of national and global economics and politics. The President makes very important decisions in different spheres and to avoid mistakes, this person needs to take into account plenty of various factors. Meeting these requirements is, in my opinion, slightly problematic for Donald Trump as he is more focused on the national affairs and he does not fully understand the processes that are important for international relations. Thus, some view “Mr. Trump’s comments on NATO as an abandonment of America’s most significant alliance relationship” (Sanger & Haberman, 2016). Moreover, his views on Putin’s politics are too mild, as he says “nothing about its crackdown on human rights and little about its annexation of Crimea” (Sanger & Haberman, 2016). In contrast to Trump, Clinton, due to her long-term work in the sphere of American politics, possesses more knowledge about the internal and external processes that take place in the world. She has very good education from Yale University that also contributes to her ability to analyze these processes (Bernstein, 2007). Nevertheless, the situation with Trump could change in the future when he gets more experience in the sphere of international politics.
At first sight, charisma and great negotiation skills are not exceptionally important for the post of the US President, but in fact, these qualities allow the President to create and keep a large group of supporters and make real changes. It is important to bear in mind that the President is not surrounded by a group of devoted fans, and he or she has to be able to find support at the Senate and other important governmental organs and organizations. For these purposes, the personal charisma of this individual and excellent negotiation skills are crucial. Without these qualities, many ideas of the President risk to remain unnoticed. In my opinion, here, Donald Trump has much better skills and abilities than Hillary Clinton. Although Clinton’s work as the Senator and the Secretary of State was also connected with negotiations, Trump, as a successful businessman and the leader of enormous corporation, deals with these aspects more frequently and knows better what is needed to implement his ideas into reality even if he faces some obstacles.
The ability to remain restrained and concentrated even in difficult and tough situations is also critical for the president of any country. It is very unlikely that during the term of any President, the USA and the rest of the world would live in complete harmony and experience no tragedies or conflicts. Therefore, the American President should be able to remain calm to make the right decisions even under chaotic circumstances. Unfortunately, Trump seems to be too emotional at some situations and he makes comments that he or his team needs to explain or even take back later. Thus, as Boyer (2015) notes, “His comments about Mexicans and women indicate a limited amount of empathy, and his continuing statements that these same people “love” him indicates little self-assessment.” Clinton also has some problems in this sphere, but in general, her emotional stability is more obvious. Politicians, in contrast to businessmen who have more freedom in expressing their emotions, are more inclined to keep cool in difficult situations.
Therefore, it is important to say that the things discussed in this essay are quite subjective, as the evaluation of politics and politicians is a process that is not based on mathematic data and pure logic. Moreover, no individual can possess full knowledge about all processes taking place in the US politics to have enough information for a perfect judgment. Therefore, my opinion about the qualities of Clinton and Trump is personal and I do not treat it as the only possible perspective. Both candidates have their own weak and strong sides. However, the qualities that are necessary for the US President seem to be universal, although they could be ranked in a different order. Honesty, the desire to achieve goals, the ability to inspire people and conduct effective negotiations, a perfect command of economic and political skills, and cool head under tough circumstances are the key features that are required to fulfill the duties of this important post. I am sure that the US citizens will make the right choice and choose the person who is able to carry such a responsibility.
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