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Okay, so it’s a misleading title. I don’t care. What I’m trying to say is that it is impossible to be everyone’s president. Sadly, that is also pretty misleading. Of course, if you win the presidential election you are the president of every United States citizen whether they like it or not. Still, there are tons of impossibilities that almost no one seems to consider when looking at what it means to be arguably the most powerful person on Earth that doesn’t involve upper-body strength.
I’m going to start with the “easiest” part of this. When I decide who I am voting for I do, of course, look at what sort of things they are promising to get done during their tenure. However, what I also look at is the percent possibility they have of actually getting those things done. The biggest problem in doing this sort of math is that there is absolutely a zero percent chance I get my calculations right because I have real fundamental knowledge of anything. No matter how much of a political scholar you claim yourself to be, you have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or any damn time that could radically change every single thing you originally set out to do as the leader of the free world. You can make guesses, you can tow party line, and you can legitimately promise whatever you want, because even if you have been President before and are trying for a second term, you have no damn clue what is going to happen when you get out of bed tomorrow.
There is no Kobayashi Maru to be President. Watching someone work in an absolute no-win situation would make for some exciting television, except the difference between Star Trek and the US political system is that the test would be used more to push the candidates as some sort of Fox News/Reality TV hybrid spouting off all sorts of garbage about how the test doesn’t even matter because it’s completely fake and there is no way they are able to win it, unlike THE ELECTION which they GAURAN-DAMN-TEE victory for themselves and their party. Oops, too bad they will have to make decisions every single day that might only have one tiny positive outcome at the expense of tons of negative outcomes, if only for the people that see any sort of potential attack (especially financially) to be the absolute worst choice for doing anything ever. Who cares if we don’t have enough money to pay for anything? I’m not chipping in. I chip in enough. Gas Prices! Bah! Iraq! Seriously! Worst. President. Ever. (saw this bumper sticker today, though without the Comic Book Guy punctuation)~!
No one would be happy if the President made everyone happy. Compromises and bi-partisan advantages are seen as weaker than toilet paper against napalm. Someone has to suffer in order for the people who aren’t suffering to be happy. Let the world burn into ash and dust so long as it keeps my damn tank full and my bank account where I want it. Why should I care what foreign countries want? All their people live here as it is! They get enough! Obviously I’m being very generalizing and going over-board, but this is the kind of vocal opposition that someone with basically the world at his fingertips has to deal with. You are the boss of EVERYONE. You have the biggest ring of keys, the best parking space, and even after you are long out of the position people will stop you on the street and say “hello, boss!” even if they didn’t work a single hour of a single day for you ever, ever, ever. In fact, they could have worked for the other company, the #2 political retailer in the country, knowing all full well eventually they’ll be number one again and then they get to be Employee of the Month or get their own voicemail box or key to the executive washroom. Even still, so long as you are the boss, their boss still reports to you – some way, some how.
And you wonder why I think it’s impossible to be President.
Even if people hate you with every fiber of their being, they have to stomach you. Okay, they could leave the country, and they might even do that until they find out that they know even less about living outside this country than they do about what it means to be in political power. It hurts that so much of our community is trapped under red, white, and blue (and I don’t mean the French flag) that they are nearly blind to the rest of the world. It hurts even more to realize that they want one person to be their spyglass and are absolutely pissed off beyond belief when what you show them isn’t what they wanted to see or thought they’d ever see.
Anyone right now, and I mean in the entire world, could be the greatest president of the United States ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, but that person could also be the worst president ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER because of things that we can never, will never, and maybe should never predict. After all, if we could just predict everything that could happen to us, there would be no need to have a two party system, and that would put a LOT of the news media out of a job. Without them decrying what people in power do how am I supposed to feel any emotion?
I mean, seriously…
Five simple words. It’s a joke, really. I almost am afraid to bring it up in public, but…this has to go. This doesn’t completely fall into the realm of education, but the idea that society as a whole seems to fear and disregard any talk of change just has to go. People hate the entire premise behind taking what they have now and making it different, even if the eventual difference is for the better. It has happened all throughout history and it just needs to stop now. We as a culture needs to let the change train go and if a derailment happens – we learn. If something completely unexpected but amazingly positive happens we will learn and embrace it.
We have a problem with embracing anything that means we might have to work somewhat harder to get to a better place. Honestly, even I don’t necessarily enjoy the idea of harder work for potentially no payoff. Obviously I am a part of a much greater whole of people that hate to see ability and talent go to waste. It is scary. It is one of those debilitating fears I have. I feel like I have spent way too much time in my life treading water and getting nowhere. But, I can at least acknowledge potential when it exists. Few else seem to be able to do that. I look at things like education reform and social reform and while some ideas are blowing smoke and partisan flag-waving, there are nuggets of brilliance amongst them. The ones I view as nuggets may not be the ones others are looking for, but whether we share the same opinions or not, if nobody is willing to take the first step forward toward a new tomorrow.
Yikes, I am starting to sound like some sort of crazy preacher or motivational guru. I want to see that brighter future, though. I really do. I see a world that needs to embrace change. At least take the chance and see what happens. There is so much in this world that would not exist the way we know it without taking chances, and given the timeline that stretches from the dawning of civilization to today, the amount of chances taken is a near miniscule amount compared to the amount of chances people wanted to take and could not bring themselves to take that first step.
“It” might be what it is now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Choose reform, on any level. Look around your own lives and see what can be done to improve them, even if it means smiling just a tiny bit more. Your small change might not ripple out to effect the entire planet, but enough small changes just might be able to. We have the mental capacity, we have the ability and we carry it around with us every single day. It is time we use it. That is what it should be.