Hell Yes I Want My President To Be Elite

Amid the “bitter” flap of “elitism” that just won’t die comes this simple concept that I don’t understand why people don’t seem to get. Hell yes I want my president to be elite. Does anyone have the slightest notion of how much responsibility the president has? How difficult the decisions? How complex the problems?

For some outrageously bizarre reason, the metric by which we choose who will have arguably the most difficult and important job in the world is whether or not we would like to have a beer with them. Are you kidding? Look, I’ve actually drunk beers with the guys I would have a beer with, and let me tell you something, some of them I wouldn’t trust to run heavy machinery, let alone a country.

Definitely not this country.

And I’m included in that group as well. I’ve got a pretty high opinion of myself, and I don’t even want me running this country; we’ll all go to ruin. I’m lucky if I can dress myself in accordance with state law when I leave my front door in the morning, and you want someone like me deciding if we’re going to invade Iran?

Get outta here.

Now, I understand that there is some validity to the beer question. At the heart of it all is the desire to make sure a president is “in touch” with his or her people. But we have to realize that being “in touch” is itself a means, and not an end.

After all, Bush was all about being in touch, and being the guy you would watch a game with or suck down a beer with, that didn’t go so well did it?

The reason why is because being “in touch” is actually an indicator that a president will adequately identify problems that affect regular voters, and will have the desire to actually fix them. It’s the, “If I ruled the world,” principle. You have problems in your life, and so do I, and occasionally we sit and think, you know, if I ruled the world, I’d make these problems go away.

Somewhere along the way, though, we make this connection in our minds that in order for someone to understand our problems, they have to be like us. This would be all fine and dandy except, well, it doesn’t work like that.

Instead, the way it works is that we have a bunch of politicians that have more money in their bank accounts than several generations of our families will ever see all falling over themselves drinking beer, gorging themselves on deep fried animal parts, and otherwise doing everything they possibly can to prove they know the experience of every American out there. None of which, might I add, will guarantee that a)they’ll actually care about your problems enough to try to fix them, as proven by our current president, or b)that they’ll have the competence to actually execute any kind of solution that will really work, also proven by our current president.

It’s a raw deal folks, knowing which beer is a good beer is not going to equate to knowing when to invade a country, and when not to invade said country. Being able to bowl a decent game does not mean that the candidate in question will have the understanding of the economy necessary to enforce the right regulations in the right places to get things back on track.

All it means is that the candidate can keep up a convincing smile while he or she drinks the swill you drink, or that he or she can suffer through the inevitable itchy feet that stem from rental shoes.

Neither skill, might I add, comes up an awful lot when it comes to running a country. What does weigh on the shoulders of a president, though, are decisions of war; a president must assess every situation and ask himself or herself if the threats that face us warrant the loss of potentially thousands of young lives that are only just beginning. What does weigh on the shoulders of a president are decisions about the economy; decisions that could bolster the livelihoods of millions of families, or put millions of families out on the cold streets. A president must have the conviction to charge full steam ahead, the prudence to act with caution, and the judgment to know when to do either.

Being the President of the United States isn’t a joke. It’s not my piddly little desk job, it’s not your college semester, or your job in a meat packing plant. It is the execution of a federal government that must oversee the security and well being of over three hundred million people twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No, I don’t want one of my drinking buddies doing that job. I don’t want me doing that job. I want someone I can’t touch doing that job. I want someone who’s ten times smarter than me doing that job. I want someone who has infinitely wiser judgment than my own, someone whose convictions are stronger than mine, someone who is tireless where I am sedentary, courageous where I am fearful.

And yes, I want someone who understands my problems, and my needs, but someone doesn’t have to meet the political definition of being in touch to be able to provide that. Hell, for all the down home aura that Bush advertised about himself, he never really was in touch. When America stood up with strong voices against his policies, from the war in Iraq to torture to even Social Security, he did not listen, he just carried on, convinced that all he had to do was convince us, and if he couldn’t accomplish that, carry on anyway because he wasn’t going to be a slave to the focus groups and polls.

Unfortunately, those polls showing that a majority of Americans are opposed to the Iraq war have been pretty steady for three years now, at some point it stops being a situation where you shift with the winds of fickle public opinion, and starts being simply tone deaf to your constituents. Letters and voices that rose up and said we didn’t want our Social Security privatized had risen to a fever pitch, but the president kept pushing until the whole thing had to be killed in Congress.

Being the one that everyone wants to have a beer with guarantees the voters nothing. And for me, if I want to have a beer with someone, I’ll have a beer with them. If I see someone that I think is going to serve this country well as the President of the United States, I’ll vote for them. Chances are, I’m not going to find both in the same person.

To be honest, that’s probably for the best.

(edited by DrGail)

One Response to “Hell Yes I Want My President To Be Elite”

  1. Fred F. says:

    You’re missing the connotation towards elitism here. It is not about being a regular guy or not; rather, it is about a way of thinking that means you believe you are absolutely smarter than everyone else, and only you and your ilk can save the ignorant masses from themselves.

    Problem is, there are only so many elites to go around. The Democratic nominee needs the solid blue collar middle class to win.

    And Obama just pissed them all off.

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