June 16, 2010

I Don't Want My Children To Be President

That has to be one of the saddest things that I have ever written, but it is true. I don't want my children to be President of the United States of America, or like cool kids say...POTUS.

That should be blasphemy. We should live in a country in which a father wants his children to be president, not because of the power/fame it provides but because of what that power provides. The opportunity to give back and to make the world a better place than it was when they entered office.

I think of this as being common sense. Altruism is something I want from government officials. I don't want empty campaign slogans that talk about change or fighting for us- but I don't see that. And what I do see makes me sad, angry and worried.

I don't want my children to be president because I don't want them to be subjected to the unrealistic expectations that we shower upon our candidates. I don't want their lives dissected so that the most ridiculous minutiae is unveiled and discussed. I don't want them to be embarrassed because some schmuck tells a story about how I was a jerk one time when I was 20, 25 or 50.

And the sad thing is that it might not be something that I did that was wrong. It could be a fragment of a post about politics that their opposition doesn't like. So they'll take words that I wrote decades before the kids were running for an office and try to prove that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I know that this sounds ridiculous. Unless we change the Constitution it is 25 years before my oldest will be eligible to run for office. Why should I worry about something that is so far away especially when we don't know if he'll have any interest in politics.

Well the reason is simple- the system is broken now. We don't plant trees today so that we can harvest the fruit next week. We plant them for those who are coming just as those who came before planted for us. That is why I am looking at this now.

I am looking at the world around me and asking questions about what I can do to make it a better place. I am looking at it and wondering where is the soft spot, where is the low hanging fruit. What can we do to make an immediate impact.

But I have to admit that part of the reason I am doing it is for selfish reasons. I figured that if we can improve the world it makes my life better and there is no reason not to do that. But mostly it is because I love my children and want them to have more than myself.

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