At some point in the life of every American child, they dream of becoming president of the United States. This is a dream slightly lower than the dream of magical space traveler and unicorn breeder, all with only a slightly higher likelihood of happening.
The thing they don’t tell you as a kid is one very specific thing: being president sucks. It is easily the most difficult job a person could ever be given. As President, you are in charge of nearly 320 million people. At any given time, 160 million of those people are going to hate the decision that you have made. They will express this by calling you all sorts of names that, for a lesser person, could lead to a week of crying in the fetal position.
That’s a lot of negative feedback. For someone to be a President, they have to have thick skin. Or, at least they used to. Now we have elected an orange man who has feuded for years with Rosie O’Donnell and repeatedly has tried to pick a fight with Saturday Night Live. He seems to have taken “fight fire with fire” to heart, and he is going to fight every fire 140 characters at a time.
As I have grown, I realize that there exists no dimension where I would want to become President. There probably isn’t even a dimension where I would want to be a Senator, or a Congressman. I think City Council might even be off of the table. I am just now adjusting to taking care of myself and my child. I think adding random strangers into the mix could be a disaster.
With that said, I think I would be a very good public figure. You might be wondering why I, the person who just admitted to a moderate level of irresponsibility, thinks he could become a public governmental figure. The answer is simple: EVERYONE thinks they would be a great politician. If you doubt this, find any random person and ask them what the problem is with the country. If you wait long enough, you will hear them say “You know what we should do?” The issue is, that none of these people with brilliant ideas actually wants to lead. They just want to backseat drive the Presidency.
Maybe that’s what it takes. Plato said in The Republic that a reluctant leader is the best leader because they will not give in to a love for materials.* Maybe Plato is saying people like me should be involved in politics. We could change the world for (hopefully) the better.
I suppose that means I should start campaigning now for the next election. I have watched all of the episodes of “House of Cards”, so I know what I’m getting into. I will start in congress, work my way up to the Vice Presidency through all sorts of questionable means, then move into the presidency through even more questionable methods. If my calculations are correct, I should be in the White House by 2028.
That seems like a whole thing, though. I think I’ll let someone else pick up the reluctance baton. Besides, that plan was assuming that our new president hasn’t destroyed the world by that time in a fit of rage directed at the first country leader who says they enjoy CNN’s news coverage.
That’s a pretty big assumption.
*I know it may sound like I’m trying to showcase my highfalutin elitist education by referencing Plato. Full disclosure: the reason I thought of this was because of the Childish Gambino song “We Ain’t Them”, not because of my thorough philosophical research. Unless Childish Gambino counts as philosophical research. In that case, I am very well researched.