Sunday, July 31, 2016

Job Application

Almost everyone has applied for a job at one time or another.  Job application forms usually follow a similar pattern.  They require the applicant to state his/her qualifications for the job, educational status,  accomplishments in the field, and, most important, his/her employment history or experience.  Quite often a background check is required as well as a credit check.

I started thinking about what an ad for the job of President would look like and who might have the qualifications sufficient to gain an interview.

According to Geri Zabela Eddins in Our White House, Looking In, Looking Out,  the president has two primary functions.  One is to serve as CEO of the federal government and the second is to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. As Chief Executive, the president must work with his staff, his Cabinet, and the enormous bureaucracy that is the federal government to ensure that laws are carried out.  It is important to remember that the president does not make laws.  The Executive branch is responsible for carrying out the laws that the Legislative branch enacts.


Specific job responsibilities require expertise in a variety of disciplines.  Negotiating treaties with other nations requires diplomacy, establishing a budget requires knowledge of economics and social science, and formulating policy involving energy requires a knowledge of science.  One of the most important attributes of a president is the ability to form and work with a team since no one person can possibly possess all the knowledge necessary to perform the job.  Finally, the president as commander in chief can send troops into combat (presumably under the advice of his military advisors) but cannot declare war. 

So, now, let's pretend that you are in charge of hiring the person who will do the job of president.

In her Parade magazine essay “The Secrets of America’s Great Presidents,” Doris Kearns Goodwin, a prize-winning historian,  encourages citizens to consider ten qualities when choosing a president. We will look at those qualities and then examine our two candidates for how well they demonstrate those qualities.  You are welcome to add your 2 cents worth of opinion.  Finally, you will choose which candidate you think should have the job.

1.  The courage to stay strong in the face of adversity.
      Secretary Clinton has been in public life for more than 4 decades.  She has been scrutinized, criticized, blamed, and shamed.  But here we are, she is still standing, still fighting for those who can't fight for themselves, and is the Democratic nominee for President.  Donald Trump has never engaged in public service, but has sought the spotlight often in his life.  His response to adversity is to attack those who find fault with him.  He uses the language of a bully, and never, ever, admits a mistake or apologizes for having hurt someone. He is quick to use Twitter to hurl insults out into the Twitterverse.

2.  Is confident enough to seek different viewpoints.
     In this campaign season, we have seen HRC work with her opponent, Bernie Sanders, and agree to incorporate some of his ideas into her own campaign.  DJT says, "I alone can fix" this country's problems.

3.  Can learn from his or her mistakes. 
     The best example is that HRC made mistakes in 2008 that caused her to lose to Barack Obama. She did not make those same mistakes in 2016 when it came to the formidable Bernie Sanders.  DJT's company has filed for bankruptcy four times.  Trump borrowed too much money at interest rates he could not afford, and ended up having to give up his ownership stake in various ventures.  Obviously, he didn't learn from the first bankruptcy to be more fiscally responsible.  

4.  Is willing to embrace change.

       The motto of the Trump campaign is "Make America Great."  The implication is that America used to be great, but no longer is.  So, I guess you would say DJT hasn't embraced change.  HRC celebrates progress made in civil rights, the rights of women, the rights of the LGBTQ community, and promises to work together to keep moving forward.
      
5.  Is emotionally intelligent (willing to share credit with others, accept blame, and convey strength).
     Example 1: HRC accepted responsibility for the email snafu.  Example 2: DJT never accepted responsibility for the debts of his casinos, saying he, personally, had never filed for Chapter 13. Consider two phrases: "I Alone," and "Stronger Together." 

6.  Can maintain self-control in the midst of trouble.
     During 11 hours of intense questioning about the tragedy at Benghazi, HRC calmly answered every question, faced every attack.  If getting yelled at for hours without losing your cool is a requirement for the presidency, Hillary Clinton checked the box on Thursday. (Glenn Thrush and Gabriel Debenedetti, Politico, 10/22//15).  On the other hand, when confronted with his own words by Megyn Kelly in a debate, DJT responded the next day with a statement so inappropriate, so vicious, and so misogynistic that it drew severe criticism from his own supporters. Totally lost his self-control.

7.  Is aware and in touch with popular sentiment. 
     This quality is one in which DJT does excel. Those Americans who feel disenfranchised, who feel they've been forgotten for too long, gaze at him as if he is the Messiah.  Unfortunately, they are totally ignorant of the workings of government and don't realize that the promises made by Trump are not promises he can keep.  HRC appears to understand that the voters who agree with her on the issues don't really care about the email issue.  She spends her time discussing the issues she believes are important and telling voters her plans to address them. 

8.  Possesses a strong moral compass.
     DJT has been married 3 times, cheating on the present wife with the future wife each time and still claiming to be a moral, honest, person.   HRC chose to keep her family together in spite of marital problems.  You may not agree with her decision, but she did set a moral example. 

9.  Is able to relax. 
     We know that Grandmother Hillary loves Facetiming with her granddaughter, Charlotte, and reading to her.  Donald plays golf.

10. And finally, communicates well and inspires others.
      Maybe it's just me, but I don't think DJT can speak in complete sentences.  He starts a thought, but then cuts himself off, relying on his favorites "believe me," "trust me," "we're gonna win," and "huge."  HRC speaks like an intelligent, well-informed, public servant.  If Trump inspires others, it is to violence.  If Hillary inspires others, it is to help those less fortunate.

Based on these qualities, you decide who is best qualified for the job. And I hope you're right.