"Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process."
- John F. Kennedy
Is this true?
When I was a kid, my parents and my teachers told me (and everyone else of course) that I could be President of the United States someday. A lofty goal to be sure because in civics class we learned how prestigious the office of President is and how powerful he (or she) is on the world's stage. Who wouldn't want that opportunity for their children?
As an adult, I have also dangled this carrot in front of Emily. You know the refrain: Do good in school, eat your veggies, polish my boots, respect your parents, do good by others and you too could be President of The United States!
But somewhere in there is the inconvenient truth of what it takes to actually be president. Sure, a command on the issues, a US citizenship, and a decent looking presence in a suit. But as the years go by we - yes we - have come to demand more from our elected officials.
- They must be completely unscathed in their personal lives
- They must possess the ability to collect zillions of dollars from wealthy supporters
- They must be able to placate every faction of society in order to earn and maintain the popular vote
- They must promise change - without consequence - even if there is no reasonable mechanism to create that change
Yet, by demanding these criteria, the proposed candidate gets further and further from actually representing us, the populace. Who among you is unscathed personally? Who has access to zillions of dollars? Who lives in an environment where you can say one thing and do another and be consequence-free?
And when these people are elected - that, again, end up being nothing like us - we turn on them because they are out of touch with our lives. Hmmmm.
Perhaps we should inspire our children to become illegal aliens instead?? Most of them have a very bright future in this country and it costs them next to nothing.