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The Ideal President

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Essay title: The Ideal President

The Ideal President

We as humans tend to look for a leader to guide us. This leader has been present since the beginnings of time in the form of a dominating male. Times change and we no longer look for a dominating male, but for someone that can help us meet our needs and necessities. We no longer look at physical strength or dexterity to choose our leader; we look at their values and mental capacity. We look for a leader that has integrity, intelligence, morality, courage, competence, conviction and commitment in order to be able to guide the rest of us. Nowadays we call this leader the president.

The United States was the first country to elect the president as the leader of the country. While the other countries watched this experiment, the founding fathers discussed what powers this new leader would have the right to. According to Kenneth Janda from Northwestern University,

The delegates from the Constitutional Convention were wary of unchecked power and were determined not to create an all-powerful, dictatorial presidency.

Having just “fought a war of independence [from] Britain [and] the autocratic rule of King George III” (Janda 360), the founding fathers sought to find an individual with exceptional values to rule over the colonies. The delegates then decided to give powers to the president, but with limits and controls in the form of checks and balances. This checks and balances would act as “controls on presidents who might try to expand the office beyond its proper bounds” (Janda 361).

The requirements for the presidency were established in the constitution. Article II states that in order to become president, one must be a “U.S.-born citizen, at least thirty-five years old, who has lived in the United States for a minimum of fourteen years” (Janda 361). However, the Constitution gave a vague description of the president’s duties. It was then that the worry of choosing the right candidate began.

The Constitution laid out general requirements to become a president, now the question was how to choose the right candidate. If it had not been for President George Washington, the Constitution could have been more specific. According to the Annual Review of Psychology, George Washington was an “imposing man with a temper” that was “loved and respected”. So respected he was that the delegates “did not fear that he would try to misuse the office” (Janda 361). Presidential personality made a difference when creating the Constitution and it still does.

The personal characteristics of the president are directly related to his performance in office. Because the president is elected by the people, values and integrity matter at the time of the election. During campaign politicians sell themselves to the voting public. High values, intelligence, integrity and morality to mention a few, are the values most sought after by voters. Being the leader of the nation, the president must be someone well respected and admired; someone who people want to follow and imitate.

Throughout time we have had great presidents that have left behind a legacy. From our first president George Washington to our current president George W. Bush; their personal characteristics have been directly related to their performance in office. One of the most noteworthy and important presidents that the United States has had is George Washington. George Washington being the first president had not been told what his job requirements would be. He had no agenda or organizer that would tell him the things needed to be done. Even so, Washington’s competence and commitment to his country led him to set precedents. According to historian Neil Hamilton, Washington “developed the office from scratch…and embellished the presidency with dignity, drawing a line between the ruling elite and the masses.” George Washington created a cabinet where “the principle of cabinet appointments was based on the prospective member’s agreement with presidential policies” (Hamilton). Washington was a very creative and intelligent man. Without being told what to do he created a system that without him knowing would serve as a guide for the presidents to come.

President Washington not only was very bright and creative, he was also the president of the people. Being the first president, Washington knew that his job was to represent the people. Washington was a humble man that “viewed the president as the sole representative of all the people since he was the only federal official elected by a nationwide vote” (Hamilton). Washington wanted the United States Government to be by the people for the people and was willing to create a new system to make this work: “Washington took the lead in establishing the federal government's

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