A Nerd for President: What America Needs for Diversity

The U.S. is in the heat of the presidential race, with the Republican party now seeing a close fight between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, while Hillary Clinton still leads among the Democratic hopefuls.

As the primaries continue, a question to ponder is what kind of president America must have. One can look back at history to get some insights.

It had a charismatic president in John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the U.S., whose shortened presidency evoked an image of the mythical Camelot, bringing hope and idealism to a nation grappling with civil rights issues.

But such appealing leadership no longer resounds nor can suffice in today’s context, even though racism still tears at the very fabric of American society. Instead, we need a “nerd” for President.

Why a Nerd for President?

With the ever-growing racial and ethnic diversity of today’s American population, alongside other diverse aspects of American people, myriad challenges confront the country, from within and without. Wars, ISIS threat, climate change, poverty are among the big issues the next U.S president needs to address.

Only one who is a nerd can answer to that clamor for a committed, fearless, principled leader, with a concrete vision of where America will be in the distant future .

A nerd is intelligent, smart, strong and possesses persistent dedication to his goals and singularity of purpose. Thus a nerd for President can rally the country together in the journey to that great vision.

Why? Because a nerd leader is not afraid to put his foot down, firmly say “no,” and become unpopular. A nerd is comfortable being unpopular because most of the time, he is just that. And it is better for him that way, for it gives him the space and freedom to explore new ideas and envision greatness.

Yet, a nerd knows how to be flexible. He can have the charisma to win over people from the other side. Although he may seem to go against the grain, a nerd can mingle and communicate well with different minds. So a nerd for President of the United States of America is good for diversity.

Having experienced being shunned because of his smartness, he knows how it is to be marginalized or isolated. So a nerd for President can have the empathy and compassion to understand the plight of the discriminated segments of American society. He can then endeavor to make diversity working in society through inclusive programs he will initiate.

A nerd for President can use his office to galvanize lawmakers and other policymakers to remove the vestiges of systemic racism, an underlying cause of the persistent discrimination in the country.

History’s Examples

Looking into the pages of history, one finds Calvin Coolidge, the country’s 30th president who took over the presidency when Pres. Warren Harding died in office, as a fine example of a nerd president, though that description has never been directly ascribed of him. He was noted to have overcome the corruption scandals that marred Harding’s tenure.

Somewhat of a nerd because of his somber and taciturn personality, he became known as “Silent Cal.”  As president, his conservative policies favoring the business sector, and his hands-off leadership, led America to economic prosperity; hence, the Roaring Twenties.  (Miller Center, U. of Virginia)

President Coolidge showed a singularity of purpose, not minding naysayers around him as long as he could carry out his goals, sincerely believing it his for the country’s greater good. He worked quietly, unobtrusively letting other leaders in the government have their say as long as he saw it was good.

We invite the readers to reflect on these questions:

  • What kind of leader makes for the best president for America?
  • Who do you think among this year’s presidential candidates fits the mold of a Nerd Leader, and who, foremost, will be good for diversity?

We will discuss this in the next article; meanwhile, you may post your thoughts in the comment box below.