Maybe that’s because I prefer to be liked.
Maybe because I get nervous talking to crowds of more than four.
Maybe because I say things that could be used against me, like every fifth word.
Maybe because I don’t like calls at three in the morning telling me World War Three is now an option.
Maybe because it’s embarrassing to say “Oops, sorry,” when our flying drones take out an entire Afghan village.
Maybe because writing condolence letters to parents of dead service people is not my idea of a good time.
Maybe because I just wouldn’t be able to keep that secret about Area 51 and the crashed saucer.
Maybe because sometimes it’s fun to gossip. But I hate gossip about me.
Maybe because, when I leave the house for take out, I’d like to grab my Moo Shoo Pork without a posse of secret service cops and paparazzi standing behind me.
Maybe because I’m into that “Live-and-Let-Live” thing.
Maybe because I hate saying, “The American people agree with me,” when everyone else is saying that too.
Maybe because I look goofy in photos.
Maybe because I like to know everybody who works for me. (The Federal Government employs over 2,650,000 civilians)
Maybe because I wonder sometimes about my choices and make them without confidence. (Presidents have to pretend they’re sure about everything.)
Maybe because, at state dinners, I’ll hate eating food I don’t like, especially cauliflower.
Maybe because I want to know, what I DON’T know. (Presidents make decisions based on what they DON’T know all the time.)
Maybe because it’s hard for me to sound optimistic when I’m not. (And pretend I’m winning when I’m not.)
Maybe because I’m not a smiler. (My teeth aren’t that great either.)
Maybe because I feel uncomfortable telling everyone why I’m the most qualified dude in the world to fuck things up.
Maybe because I like to drive my own car, and speed and make illegal U-turns. (Do presidents get traffic tickets?)
Maybe because, every eighteen months or so, I’ll take a hit off a big, fat joint. (I’ve heard this is a no-no for the Leader-of-the-Free-World.)
Maybe because I’m not so sure the United States IS the leader of the Free World…anymore…or should be. (Presidents are supposed to insist the USA comes first, always.)
Maybe because I don’t pray before meals, bedtime or at sporting events.
Maybe because I don’t even like sporting events.
Maybe because I’m not exactly qualified to be the ROLE MODEL for the rest of the planet.
Maybe because, sometimes, just before bed, I like shuffling down the hall into the kitchen for a shot of hot cocoa. (In the White House, there IS no kitchen down the hall, unless you’re the Help.)
Maybe because I like to leave my work, at work, after work. (There is no “after work” in the White House.)
Maybe because I’d rather not morph from black hair to gray hair in twelve months.
Maybe because reading hate mail before breakfast is unsettling.
Maybe because I’m not a suit-and-tie guy.
Maybe because I like to stay up late and sleep late. (I’d still be in bed for the 7:00 am briefings.)
Maybe because I can’t remember names, or dates, places, country capitals and history facts. (Then again, neither can presidential candidates.)
Maybe because when I promise something, I feel responsible to carry it out.
Maybe because, hearing, “You have to meet these people. They got you elected,” gives me gas.
Maybe because I don’t play golf, tennis, basketball or poker.
Maybe because polite conversation, translated from a foreign language, while smiling and posing for photo opts, bores me.
Maybe because I’ll get really frustrated if I spend ten months building a save-the-economy, fix-it plan and it gets shot down by two votes in congress.
Maybe because my past is not perfect. (It was a lot of fun, though.)
So I ask you, why would ANY sane person want to become President of the United States? My wife told me, “For the power.”
WHAT power? Out of the White House, you can’t even take a presidential dump without some secret service dude guarding the door! And if you have loose stool, the world hears about it!
Heck, today our President can’t get a darn thing through congress unless it has no consequence at all. So why take the job?
ANSWER: The REAL POWER comes AFTER you leave public service, by hitting on all the friends you made while in Washington. It’s an influence game and there’s big “bank” in that. Is that why people become politicians, for money, power and a job at a lobbying firm?
Sure. But certainly there are altruistic reasons, benevolent reasons, reasons of conscience and good will. I’m sure there are even elected officials I would trust to mind my momma. (I may have actually voted for one.)
Problem is, most Americans don’t trust anybody in politics anymore. And this is sad. This is as sad as distrusting your neighborhood police officer, or the public school system, or the Gas Company, or Emily Maynard on The Bachelorette.
Yet, despite all the sad shit about distrust in this country, it’s still one of the best places to live. I would not be able to survive without the freedom I’ve been granted here: the freedom to believe what I want to believe and not get arrested for it. We take that for granted; our freedom of speech…and thoughts. There are places in the world, especially in Africa and the Middle East, where you get locked up, tortured and killed simply by demonstrating your opinions! We all know that. But as I said, we all assume it won’t happen here.
But it IS happening here. Little by little, pieces of freedom are being lifted away in the guise of protecting us from terrorists!
What is a terrorist? This we know. But what is a suspected terrorist? This we DON’T know.
Suspicion is a label one can attract when contrary to the status quo. Suspicion is one step away from being the enemy.
And becoming the enemy when you are not, can happen and does happen in modern republics.
Yes, I am sure about that.
Ask any concentration camp victim, anywhere in the world about this. Ask the refugees of tribal warfare. Ask the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in California at the start of World War II. Ask the Native Americans whose ancestors were herded into reservations. Ask Latinos who are stopped and questioned on the basis of suspicion.
Ask these people what it feels like to be considered a threat. And then ask them who they are voting for to protect their liberties.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
So when you watch the debates and think about voting for our president, ask yourself what kind of person would want the abuse the job carries, and why he’s willing to take it.
This post was originally published on Curiosty Quills.