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Being president isn’t a job I would want, but no one made them take it.

standard January 22, 2009 6 responses
I never know what I’m going to get when I open my BlogNosh email. Could be about parenting, travel, life, food… anything. I just know it’s pretty much guaranteed to be well written and pertinent. I love BlogNosh; it helps me discover great new bloggers.

That said, today the topic of the featured blog post caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting to read such a glowing tribute to former President Bush’s career. I’m not going to go into details (you can go read it for yourself). I’m not going to bash what was clearly a heartfelt post. I said it in the comments, that’s no longer a fight I want to fight.

But Janel said something in the comments that made me think. She said: “I would never want to walk a day in any president’s shoes. I doubt very many would.” She’s right. It’s a terrible job. A terrible burden. You spend every waking moment in the public eye. Your every decision and thought is scrutinized and analyzed ad nauseum. There’s never any winning because someone, somewhere is always going to think you’re wrong and horrible. There’s never any reprieve because the country doesn’t stop running when you need a break. And the lives of countless human beings rest in your hands. To top it off you never have a moment of privacy and as our new president laments, you can never even drive your own car.

It’s not a job I would want. I can barely manage my own life, let alone the governing of my family. I couldn’t handle being responsible for any one else. I wouldn’t be able to tolerate to constant critique, the eternal eyes over my shoulder. And I frankly wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.

But people who go into politics know that those are the rules. They’re not dumb. So should we feel pity for them because of this burden? Didn’t they call it upon themselves? And when they’re done with their term, should we assume that saying it’s a hard job can absolve them of their mistakes, of their failings?

Yes, they’re human, yes they’re fallible, but we don’t go around electing Joe the Plumber or Tim the Chef, we hire politicians who are trained for the task at hand. They have legions of people and all the necessary resources to do their job right. And yes, we do and should hold them to a higher standard. Because they wanted it and they can handle it. And also because, maybe, just maybe, if we hold them to those high standards and keep from making excuses for them, then they’ll rise to the challenge and be the leaders we expect them to be.

New review up at The Lemonade Stand. If you need help organizing a group or a club, you need to check out what I have to say about Qlubb.

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