What began in 1885 as a way to honor our first President, has morphed into a label for car sales or furniture deals. With the NH primary getting closer all the time, I find myself wondering who will run for this most powerful office.
Who would want this job?
Despite all that power, Air Force One and living at the White House, the job doesn’t pay all that much. It also comes with unimaginable responsibility, a 24/7 schedule and four (or more) years of your life living in a fishbowl. We’ve also seen what holding that office does to a person physically — it puts years on that never come off.
And God knows what secrets (painful realities) they sit you down and tell you on the day after you’ve “won” the Presidency. What type of decisions you make and orders you sign when there aren’t any cameras around.
Even so, there’s a mad scramble for the job. Already we’re hearing about those “considering” a run for the highest office in the free world, about exploratory committees, campaign hirings and fundraising efforts. Party machines are up and running. Worst of all, the names are all familiar.
Like most ordinary voters, I’m wondering who on Earth is advising these people? Have they not been paying attention? Or is it just that those at this level are so insulated from reality and the everyday world that they genuinely lose touch with common sense? That they believe what they’re told.
Here’s my take (for what it’s worth)…
If you’ve run before and lost, that should tell you something. It’s over for you.
If you’ve never run, but you have a family name, we’re not impressed. Sharing a name is no guarantee you share anything else. We might find your family antics fascinating, but that doesn’t mean you’ve earned anything more than that we recognize your name. Like we recognize Kardashian. Or Kennedy. Your name will not win our vote, your actions will.
As to those “third-party” candidates — you have to get elected. I can’t stress that enough, though it seems painfully obvious. People would vote your way if you can show us enough about you to believe you can lead when no one’s looking. Your message has to be so strong, so elemental that everyone gets it. You need to unite us behind something that’s the equal (or bigger) than things that do this already – think alien invasion, diverting a planet killing asteroid, solving global warming in the nick of time.
One more thing.
Don’t, not for one minute, think that because you’re a woman (or another formerly oppressed minority), you’re somehow entitled to your “turn” in office. Affirmative action has its place, but not in this. Earn your place on your own merits and we’ll elect you. Otherwise, go whine to someone with time to listen, we’re busy.
Equal rights mean equal… all the time. Even when it’s not to your benefit.
I don’t know about you, but I want a hero for my next President. Harrison Ford like ingenuity and fighting skills, the sheer courage and nerve of Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan and the determination of Morgan Freeman in that ‘asteroid vs Earth’ movie. Such a tease that Hollywood can create the exact man we need, but the real thing is nowhere to be found.
The reality is, a truly great leader (like the men of the past or the movies) would probably never be able to stand up to the scrutiny of a Presidential election or the media machine. They’d say the wrong thing, maybe punch a debate moderator or call someone a politically incorrect name. Leadership is too busy to worry about saying the wrong thing, offending too many, telling hard, cold, unpopular truths.
Nobody likes that. Least of all the pampered American electorate.