Friday, July 9, 2010

Who Would Even Want to Be President?

God, this country is such a mess.  The economy is in the shitter, loads of people are out of work and can't find any work, there is a massive oil spew in the Gulf of Mexico, another earthquake in California, shootings left and right here in Chicago, the ex-Governor of Illinois is on trial, empty storefronts abound, millions of people can't pay for healthcare, "The Situation" from Jersey Shore was spotted buying a Lamborghini, James Cameron just made $350 million for a freaking movie, and the country was transfixed by the big decision of where LeBron James was going to go play basketball next year.  I didn't even know who LeBron James was until the NBA Playoffs this year.  (I'm a football girl.)

So, I started thinking.  What kind of person would even want to be President of the United States?  Who wants to be in charge of all of this crap and blamed when things go wrong, even things that are out of the President's control?  It's funny, because many people in this country seem to think that we have a Dictatorship, and that President Obama makes every decision.  Well, we don't have a Dictatorship.  We have Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive Branch, all of which gives us checks and balances, and to ensure that in case we do get some nutjob in the White House, that the country doesn't go to shit. 

I certainly would not want to be in charge.  What a stressor.  Every time you go golfing or go to your home in Texas you get called out.  You are fair game for every comedian, cartoonist, and blogger.  Every time you use Air Force One you are accused of wasting taxpayer money.  Everything Congress does is put on you.  Every decision by the Supreme Court is blamed on you.  Even disasters caused by Mother Nature are your fault.  I felt bad for Bush, and I feel bad for Obama. 

But again, what kind of person wants to deal with this?  Obama has made millions off his book, so why even deal with being President?  The only answer I can come up with is power.  And that goes for pretty much anyone in Congress and the Supreme Court also.  Let's face it - they aren't doing it for the paycheck.  The President gets paid $400,000 a year; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court makes $223,500; the Speaker of the House makes $223,500.  Hell, I make more money than any of them, as far as salary goes.  Anyone with any drive and ambition can make a lot more than that in the private sector.  So, it of course must be the power and prestige that's the real lure.  I knew some folks in law school who wanted to go into politics, and by far, they were the schmoozer/ass kissers of the bunch. 

Which leads me to wonder if this is why the country is in the situation it's in.  I can't help but think that the framers of the Constitution did not intend that people spend their entire careers in politics.  Our House and Senate are supposed to represent the people, but what happens when Congresspeople haven't been "regular people" in twenty years?  Can they really relate?  I haven't seen anyone rise up - in either party - that I've been truly impressed with, and thought would make a good leader.  For some reason, the job of the President doesn't seem to attract the most ambitious, qualified, and intelligent.  (I'm not saying Obama isn't any of these, but to me, his background isn't particularly awe inspiring, nor are his leadership skills thus far.)  Perhaps the issue is the two party system we have.  Everyone else gets pushed down in favor of the GOP or Dem flavor of the month.  Or perhaps the issue is simply that anyone with any sense and any success in the private sector doesn't want anything to do with it.   

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