Writers We Wish Were President

The necessity of politics is a nasty, irksome fact of life on Earth. Unfortunately, societies don’t really work without a version of a democratic central governing body. In the US, we debate the role of this government (or at least try to) every four years, and hope we end up with someone we can confidently say represents the populus. It’s no surprise that finding a representative for your country is close to impossible.

You’d be hard pressed to find a nation in any era that was absolutely thrilled with the leadership. Today is no exception. Elections around the world have ordinary folks raising their voices to the heaves and asking, “Is this the best we’ve got? Is this really the cream of the crop?” 

Why this great distance between the public and the government? Why have people felt so utterly unrepresented since time immemorial? Well, Kurt Vonnegut posited one theory. It goes: “There is a tragic flaw in our precious constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.”

Vonnegut wasn’t the only intellectual to notice this. Plato noticed it 2,000 years ago in The Republic, wherein he questioned why Philosophers were disinclined to go the political route. Now here I sit today, asking myself the same question. Why are the preeminent novelists, philosophers, comedians and public intellectuals, whose analyses and theories we so value, not running our country? Well, that sounds like a good idea for a list, I told myself. Here are the writers who would make great leaders, with the appropriate attributes and skills included.

Maya Angelou:

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Strengths: Passionate activist, brilliant rhetorician 


Margaret Atwood:  

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Strengths: Passionate environmentalist and bird conservationist 


Philip Roth:

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Strengths: Extensive knowledge of US history, No nonsense attitude


Christopher Hitchens:

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Strengths: Argumentative skills, Extensive knowledge of World History and Foreign Policy


Mark Twain

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Strengths: Incisive social commentary, Knows a little something about everything.


Harper Lee:

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Strengths: Legal experience, progressive values


Sinclair Lewis:

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Strengths: Commitment to cutting corporate corruption, commitment to reform 


Langston Hughes:

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Strengths: Passionate activist, Pioneer for diversity in America


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