What Qualities Should a President Have?

Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist) talks about what he wants in a president:

I guess that’s his way of telling us he’s never voting in another election ever again…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Almost a complete aside, but the jingoistic way that ends with an up-note seems completely counter to the message Seth’s trying to convey.

    And ya, saying I’m unlikely to find a viable candidate that fits my criteria isn’t cynical.  It’s realistic.

  • http://profiles.google.com/hooverjd John Hoover

    Ummm… he just described Gary Johnson; who, it so happens, is on the ballot in all 50 states. 

    Oh, and it turns out he is by far the strongest supporter of a secular government, who has been a candidate for President, that we’ve seen in our lifetimes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9quBL-mKWw

  • MegaZeusThor

    I think this would be a hard video to produce; it’s rather personal. But it’s well done and makes some good points.

    I think we can all agree that we want to hear options, ideas and possible solutions, not prayers or an invocation of a sky-god. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    I love how Sarah Vowell put it at the end of her essay, “The Nerd Voice”:

    “I wish that in order to secure his party’s
    nomination, a presidential candidate would be required to point at the
    sky and name all the stars; have the periodic table of the elements
    memorized; rattle off the kings and queens of Spain; define the
    significance of the Gatling gun; joke around in Latin; interpret the
    symbolism in seventeenth-century Dutch painting; explain photosynthesis
    to a six-year-old; recite Emily Dickenson; bake a perfect popover; build
    a shortwave radio out of a coconut; and know all the words to Hoagy
    Carmichael’s “Two Sleepy People”, Johnny Cash’s “Five Feet High and
    Rising”, and “You Got the Silver” by the Rolling Stones. After all, the United States is the greatest country on
    earth with the most complicated problems in the history of the world—poverty,
    pollution, justice, Jerusalem. What we need
    is a president who is at least twelve kinds of nerd, a nerd messiah to
    come along every four years, acquire the Secret Service code name
    Poindexter, install a Revenge of the Nerds screen saver on the Oval
    Office computer, and one by one decrypt our woes.”

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    -Robert A. Heinlein

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    That all seems reasonable enough. Didn’t our first few presidents do all of those things (changing diapers and cooking meals, which was the job of the jolly leprechauns*, aside)? Now we have a lot of bloody aristocrats getting paid to play golf and terrorize grade schoolers with physical fitness tests.

    *another Sarah Vowell reference

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

    My husband recently cancelled his voter registration altogether.  While I don’t agree, I understand why:  What’s the point.  No president will do what they say they’ll do.  I know most make promises they couldn’t keep even if they wanted to, but it does seem pointless.  The fundies are bound get elected because the liberals, democrats, etc., don’t seem as passionate and organized to vote against them… not this time, anyway.  And make no mistake, the conservative, republican, Christian vote will bowl us over with the tide of support they will give their candidates.

  • Blacksheep

    Love that.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I’d replace “plan an invasion” with “plan a revolution” or “defend an invasion”.

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    Anderson Cooper?

    (except for that bit about having a family and, oh yes, perfect hair)