What is the value of the leader of the free world these days? Many would argue that the power and influence of the President of the United States has diminished in the last eight years. Whether the President-Elect can restore the importance of the United States in world politics will have to be seen. From a more distant perspective there would be other issues to consider:
-Does the President have the ability to handle the initial shock of First Contact?
-Can the President lead the country, and help lead the world, through the turmoil that would ensue after First Contact?
I know, it seems like a far fetched consideration given the huge challenges of economy, energy dependence, global warming and war in two countries. But if you were an Extraterrestrial, evaluating whether or not to contact people on Earth, wouldn't you want to deal with a level-headed President? Wouldn't you want someone who has the ability to take a creative approach to new, and perhaps troubling, developments? First Contact needs to be a greeting for the entire world, and certainly not just the United States. However, the United States would play a critical role, no matter how First Contact is carried out. What would you look for in a President?
-Calm under pressure, not likely to make rash decisions
-Grounded and not prone to apocalyptic beliefs in a religious sense
-Smart and able to think beyond the boundaries of politics
-Trusting in science and the academic world
-Able to pull together coalitions of people with disparate backgrounds
-Willing to approach problems in new ways
-Likely to seek peaceful solutions rather than take aggressive actions
-Respected and trusted by world leaders and people in other countries
Okay, so this is just a short list. I don't want to get political, but let's face it, our last President wouldn't score well on this test. Would the President-Elect do better? Perhaps.