The Qualities Most Needed (and Most Lacking) in the Presidency

Humility and modesty.  Those are two of the notable and admirable traits of our country's first president.  In his book George Washington's Leadership Lessons, James C. Rees wrote:

One of the most admirable aspects of Washington's character was his sense of humility, his self-effacement, his respectful deference to others. He was quick to decline credit and quicker to assign credit to others. He was often vocal about his personally perceived shortcomings and genuinely modest when receiving praise for efforts that even he had to acknowledge (often reluctantly) were meritorious.

George Washington exhibited a "dignified modesty," a trait that is scarce and seemingly underrated "in today's celebrity-driven society."  Wrote Rees:

George Washington was elected president twice with almost universal support, yet he never campaigned for the office. His colleagues and peers knew he was simply too modest to do so[.] ... To promote oneself, or to advertise one's talent, Washington felt, would be crass and ungentlemanly. This is not to say that Washington lacked confidence -nothing could be further from the truth. But he was seldom cocky or arrogant like so many leaders and high-profile people today. Washington was, in a word, gracious.

If Willard Mitt Romney is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January 2013, we the people can and should expect a president who is more humble, more Washington-like in this regard, than the 44th president.  In kind, Romney's voters and supporters aren't likely to display the irrational exuberance and unquestioning adoration toward him that supporters of the current president did (some still do).  Instead, more critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and level-headedness will prevail.

By all indications, a Romney presidency, if it comes to be, will be worthy of the immense respect that comes with the office.  As importantly, he will have more respect for the office -- and our heritage and traditions -- than does the current president.

Most conservatives and conservative-leaning people will not idolize or worship Mitt Romney -- or any other person.  That is a fundamental difference between the right and left -- one that's related to the authoritarian bent of modern liberals.  As Mark Levin remarked recently, next to God, "first and foremost we [conservatives] embrace our founding documents, not Mitt Romney."

Mitt Romney, like all who will have preceded him as president, is a politician and mere mortal -- a very accomplished, decent, patriotic, and well-qualified mortal, but an imperfect and fallible mortal nonetheless.  Barring a calamity, he will, under our system, hold the office for four or eight years and then go away.

We conservatives and freedom-lovers will celebrate Romney's win and then, for the most part, get on with our lives while keeping a watchful eye.  We won't dance in the streets exclaiming all that a President Romney will do on our behalf, like paying our mortgage or putting gas in our car.  But for actually upholding his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," defending our borders, securing our national interests overseas, and starting to roll back the damage wrought by the massive expansion of and overreach by the federal government, we won't expect much more.

We won't clamor for more programs, intervention, and social engineering.  To the contrary, I think most people will want the new president and others inside the Beltway to pretty much just leave them alone.  Personally, I don't and won't really care what the president has to say about things beyond his legitimate purview, like state and local matters -- law enforcement-related and otherwise.  My sense is that a President Romney would oblige me in this regard much more so than the current president.

How refreshing it would be to have a president who has humility and an understanding and appreciation of the proper role of the head of the executive branch.  With a Romney presidency, out would go the arrogance, hubris, and worse (read: narcissism) along the lines we have witnessed.  Out would go the disdain for the Constitution and the rule of law and separation of powers.  And out would go the pop-culture-esque celebrity worship, cult of personality, and giddy exaltation of the POTUS. 

If Mitt Romney is elected president, there will be no ridiculous jabber from his voters and supporters about him being a messiah or the One or anything of the sort.  He won't be awarded -- nor would he likely accept -- a Nobel Peace Prize just nine months into his presidency for no reason at all.  His speeches will contain fewer references to I, me, and my vis-à-vis the current president.  We'll hear fewer pleas along the lines of "keep believing in me."  When speaking of diplomats and others working on our behalf overseas, a President Romney won't be as likely to say something like "these aren't just representatives of the United States, they are my representatives."  Leg-tingling will wane; the media's fawning will fade.

A President Romney won't appear six times in four years on the Comedy Central's Daily Show.  Schoolchildren won't sing songs and chant in unison praising him.  People won't cheer if he improperly bypasses or threatens to bypass Congress or circumvents the law.  Old Glory is not likely to be defiled to incorporate a Romney campaign symbol or emblem.  The prevalence of ethereal poses and depictions of the president will plummet. 

There will be little or no official, Romney-approved creepy dictator-like propaganda posters, imagery, or slogans.  Romney probably won't fashion a self-aggrandizing faux presidential seal.  Hollywood starlets will not -- as in one of the saddest and most pathetic displays of submission -- mark their bodies while pledging their allegiance to Mitt Romney.  There will be fewer reports of people succumbing to the president's "greatness" and fainting at his appearances.  And he wouldn't publically proclaim what he thinks of judges on the aptly named American Idol.

Now that would be progress, wouldn't it?

Humility and modesty.  Those are two of the notable and admirable traits of our country's first president.  In his book George Washington's Leadership Lessons, James C. Rees wrote:

One of the most admirable aspects of Washington's character was his sense of humility, his self-effacement, his respectful deference to others. He was quick to decline credit and quicker to assign credit to others. He was often vocal about his personally perceived shortcomings and genuinely modest when receiving praise for efforts that even he had to acknowledge (often reluctantly) were meritorious.

George Washington exhibited a "dignified modesty," a trait that is scarce and seemingly underrated "in today's celebrity-driven society."  Wrote Rees:

George Washington was elected president twice with almost universal support, yet he never campaigned for the office. His colleagues and peers knew he was simply too modest to do so[.] ... To promote oneself, or to advertise one's talent, Washington felt, would be crass and ungentlemanly. This is not to say that Washington lacked confidence -nothing could be further from the truth. But he was seldom cocky or arrogant like so many leaders and high-profile people today. Washington was, in a word, gracious.

If Willard Mitt Romney is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January 2013, we the people can and should expect a president who is more humble, more Washington-like in this regard, than the 44th president.  In kind, Romney's voters and supporters aren't likely to display the irrational exuberance and unquestioning adoration toward him that supporters of the current president did (some still do).  Instead, more critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and level-headedness will prevail.

By all indications, a Romney presidency, if it comes to be, will be worthy of the immense respect that comes with the office.  As importantly, he will have more respect for the office -- and our heritage and traditions -- than does the current president.

Most conservatives and conservative-leaning people will not idolize or worship Mitt Romney -- or any other person.  That is a fundamental difference between the right and left -- one that's related to the authoritarian bent of modern liberals.  As Mark Levin remarked recently, next to God, "first and foremost we [conservatives] embrace our founding documents, not Mitt Romney."

Mitt Romney, like all who will have preceded him as president, is a politician and mere mortal -- a very accomplished, decent, patriotic, and well-qualified mortal, but an imperfect and fallible mortal nonetheless.  Barring a calamity, he will, under our system, hold the office for four or eight years and then go away.

We conservatives and freedom-lovers will celebrate Romney's win and then, for the most part, get on with our lives while keeping a watchful eye.  We won't dance in the streets exclaiming all that a President Romney will do on our behalf, like paying our mortgage or putting gas in our car.  But for actually upholding his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," defending our borders, securing our national interests overseas, and starting to roll back the damage wrought by the massive expansion of and overreach by the federal government, we won't expect much more.

We won't clamor for more programs, intervention, and social engineering.  To the contrary, I think most people will want the new president and others inside the Beltway to pretty much just leave them alone.  Personally, I don't and won't really care what the president has to say about things beyond his legitimate purview, like state and local matters -- law enforcement-related and otherwise.  My sense is that a President Romney would oblige me in this regard much more so than the current president.

How refreshing it would be to have a president who has humility and an understanding and appreciation of the proper role of the head of the executive branch.  With a Romney presidency, out would go the arrogance, hubris, and worse (read: narcissism) along the lines we have witnessed.  Out would go the disdain for the Constitution and the rule of law and separation of powers.  And out would go the pop-culture-esque celebrity worship, cult of personality, and giddy exaltation of the POTUS. 

If Mitt Romney is elected president, there will be no ridiculous jabber from his voters and supporters about him being a messiah or the One or anything of the sort.  He won't be awarded -- nor would he likely accept -- a Nobel Peace Prize just nine months into his presidency for no reason at all.  His speeches will contain fewer references to I, me, and my vis-à-vis the current president.  We'll hear fewer pleas along the lines of "keep believing in me."  When speaking of diplomats and others working on our behalf overseas, a President Romney won't be as likely to say something like "these aren't just representatives of the United States, they are my representatives."  Leg-tingling will wane; the media's fawning will fade.

A President Romney won't appear six times in four years on the Comedy Central's Daily Show.  Schoolchildren won't sing songs and chant in unison praising him.  People won't cheer if he improperly bypasses or threatens to bypass Congress or circumvents the law.  Old Glory is not likely to be defiled to incorporate a Romney campaign symbol or emblem.  The prevalence of ethereal poses and depictions of the president will plummet. 

There will be little or no official, Romney-approved creepy dictator-like propaganda posters, imagery, or slogans.  Romney probably won't fashion a self-aggrandizing faux presidential seal.  Hollywood starlets will not -- as in one of the saddest and most pathetic displays of submission -- mark their bodies while pledging their allegiance to Mitt Romney.  There will be fewer reports of people succumbing to the president's "greatness" and fainting at his appearances.  And he wouldn't publically proclaim what he thinks of judges on the aptly named American Idol.

Now that would be progress, wouldn't it?