This is not what I’m talking about
In my blog scanning (blanning?) today, I came across this post by Tom Englehardt, a blogger who works closely with The Nation. It reminds us of how inaugural addresses used to display great humility in our leaders, humility that would probably not be looked upon favorably today.
I have to say I agree with a lot of what the guy is saying. It would be nice to see some humility out of our president, or at least more than just passing recognition of the fact that the presidency is a job that entails a great deal of responsibility, power, and expectation. It is a job that has seemed to prove too much for many men, and most would say that a lot of our presidents have been average at best. To think that you can actually perform this job well inherently involves some degree of arrogance and elitism. Yes, we want our president to be confident in his abilities, but one’s confidence must be swollen indeed to convince oneself that they are truly worthy to hold the office of the presidency.
Barack Obama has already been accused of being elitist. Remember the primaries? Obama shook that off, but the proper response in my opinion would have simply been, “Of course I’m elitist! I’m running for president.”
Now, please don’t misconstrue this to mean that I think it is impossible to be a good president. Far from it. Instead, I am saying that the job is daunting and worthy of respect. You go into it knowing that it will be the most difficult job you have ever held. A successful president needs to know his limitations, and be ready to trust his advisers when it is necessary. He has some of the best minds in the world behind him, and he needs to be ready to trust in their abilities.
With this in mind, let’s see Barack Obama show some humility at his inauguration. He must be confident, but that must also be paired with humility. If he keeps that in mind and talks about that in his inauguration speech, he will be on a good track to start off his presidency. If he continues to remember his humility throughout his administration, he may just have what it takes to be a successful president.