The best choice for president does not want the job
Recently, A. Welderson wrote an article on American Thinker arguing that engineers make lousy U.S. presidents. As an engineer, I would like to defend the profession. Welderson's examples, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter, had one trait in common that most engineers do not have. They wanted to be president.
First, I should give you some information about engineers. Most of us are conservative. This is confirmed in a poll in an engineering magazine. It is consistent with my observations. In contrast, our managers are often Democrats. Considering that I am in the defense industry and Republican presidents are much more generous to the Defense Department than are Democrat presidents, I find this strange. There must be a correlation between wanting to manage others and wanting our government to manage the American people.
Most engineers are content to do our work. We turn down offers to become manager. A few of my colleagues have taken management positions and later returned to technical work. We engineers see our bosses as saving us from a burden and are grateful. In defense of our bosses, they may be Democrats, but they are not liberal wackos. In addition, not one of my bosses ever ran for political office.
Engineers Hoover and Carter did run for political office. Unfortunately, they won. What is so different about them? They had short engineering careers. Hoover traded engineering for "public life" at age 39. Carter, at age 29, suffered the loss of his father and took over the family farm, ending his engineering career. At age 38, Carter won election to the Georgia state Senate.
The pattern of short careers in the real world and long careers in politics leading to bad presidents does not stop with Hoover and Carter. For example, Richard Nixon joined the House of Representatives at age 33. Bill Clinton ran for Congress at age 28. Barack Obama became a community organizer at age 23. I am sure that American Thinker readers have major complaints about these three presidents.
In contrast, our best presidents spent many years in private commerce. Ronald Reagan spent decades as an actor until he became the California governor at age 56. Donald Trump, who already deserves high praise for his economic and military accomplishments, resisted the urge for public office until he became president at age 70. They honed real-life skills such as persuasion and running a profitable business, then used these skills to make a better government.
Other presidents who learned real-life skills in early adulthood were generals. Washington and Eisenhower were successful enough to end up on two of our coins.
These better presidents resisted the siren song of power for many years. Their motivation was that they wanted the country to do well. For example, in 2011, Trump told Piers Morgan, "I love this country. I hate what's happened to this country. We're a laughingstock throughout the world. We're not respected." This sounds like the words of someone who wants to help. It also sounds as though an average American would be an improvement.
Unfortunately, the average American cannot be talked into running for president. If I were offered the chance to be president, my first thought would be "I would be a great president." My second thought would be "I don't want that crappy job."
This is probably true of most people. The average American would be a much better president than what we usually get, but he does not want the job.
When we look for Trump's successor, we should look for someone who stayed out of politics for several decades but cannot stand the incompetence he sees. As he contemplates the job, he cringes, then he holds his nose and runs for president.