Harvey Milk, a celebrity who would make a good president

Essay by wilsonleeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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Harvey Bernard Milk was born on May 22, 1930 at Woodmere Hospital in Long Island, New York. His official name, derived from his Lithuanian ancestry, was Glimpy Milch. He graduated from Albany State College in 1951 where he had majored in math and minored in history. Milk entered the Navy shortly after he finished college and advanced to the rank of chief petty officer on the U.S.S. Kittyhawk, only to be dishonorably discharged when his homosexuality was discovered. His life travels took him to Dallas, Texas and back to New York before he finally ended up in California. Like thousands of other Gay people, Milk migrated to San Francisco in the early 1970's.

Even though he is a gay person, he would make a good president. He also captures the zeitgeist, meaning the spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation.

Dalleck addresses five qualities that successful presidents have typically manifested: vision, pragmatism, charisma, trust, and an ability to build consensus.

Harvey Milk meets them all.

He captures the zeitgeist because he is a big thinker. "My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you". This was Milk's standard opening line when he gave a stump speech. After this sarcastic allusion to the notion that homosexuals recruited other people into changing their sexual orientation, he would proceed to recruit support for the populist issues to which he dedicated his life. He fought to secure the place for homosexuals in society as equals, not as people who were just tolerated. He professed the importance of Gay people seeking leadership positions in society and not relying on non-Gay friends of the community to act as the leaders of the movement.

He captures the zeitgeist because he can get things done. He was aware...