James Thrasher: Donald or Hillary: You’re hired?


By James Thrasher, Grove City College



As we vote on Tuesday, it is sobering to be reminded of the significance of the office of the president of the United States and the role this person has historically played in world events.

The United States of America is the defender of democracy and of the inherent, God-given rights of mankind. America is the benevolent superpower of the world, and the president represents the historic principles upon which our nation was founded. The opportunity for good or ill in domestic and foreign policy decisions rests firmly on his or her shoulders. The nations of the world depend on the president to be a beacon of light and a stalwart defender of true freedom.

We have candidates who are pursuing the most important job in the free world. So how do we make the decision on who will receive our vote?

Back in 2000, Al Gore suggested that running for the presidency was like interviewing for a job. I think Mr. Gore was on to something.

Suppose our current candidates were put through their paces in an extensive job interview conducted by corporate America. How would they do?

Companies and organizations search for employees every day according to outlined job requirements and then evaluate a candidate’s “fit” in terms of calling and characteristics that match the job requirements: an interview “scorecard,” if you will.

An excellent job candidate will possess key characteristics that are universally affirmed and absolutely essential. Corporate recruiters visiting my campus looking for exceptional young men and women to hire itemize these to me on a regular basis. These recruiters try to discern the vocational calling of the interviewees by comparing the aptitude and characteristics of each candidate with the core competencies and qualities which that company needs in a successful employee. The qualities that companies look for in potential employees are the same foundational ones that voters should look for in presidential candidates.

Corporate recruiters consistently have landed upon 12 “must-have” character traits of deserving job candidates. Our presidential candidates likewise should be expected to possess them. They are:

1) Strong moral character and integrity

2) Leadership by example

3) Trustworthiness

4) Committed work ethic

5) Articulate communication skills

6) Humility and accountability

7) Truthfulness

8) Teachable spirit

9) Willingness to learn

10) Relational

11) Courage to do the right thing

12) Self-control and self-discipline

How do the candidates for president measure up? Using a corporate recruiter’s mindset, based on the above criteria, who would be the best “fit” for the job? If these are the bedrock characteristics the marketplace values for employees, which one should get the job offer?

There is no textbook training for the Oval Office, but think specifically about the characteristics and qualities that the office demands its occupant possess. As you go to the polls on Tuesday, remember the interview scorecard as you extend your personal offer of employment to the world’s captain of democracy.

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By James Thrasher, Grove City College

Dr. James Thrasher is the director of Grove City College’s career services office and the coordinator of the Center for Vision & Values working group on calling.

Dr. James Thrasher is the director of Grove City College’s career services office and the coordinator of the Center for Vision & Values working group on calling.

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