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I don't understand why anyone would want the job of President of the United States
2/17/2013 2:52:23 PM

I don’t understand why anyone would want the job of President of the United States.

It’s a 24 hour a day job, 7 days a week.  The fate of the world and the lives of every living thing on the planet rest on the shoulders of post A-bomb presidents.  Their lives and the lives of their families are spent in a glass house that is constantly being pelted with stones tossed by the news media, the opposing political party and anyone with the ability to type and who has a social networking account.

Having grown up during the presidencies of Eisenhower and Kennedy, I was raised in a world where presidential personal indiscretions were off-limits to news reporters.  I didn’t know Eisenhower had a war-time mistress or Kennedy was a womanizer until Eisenhower and Kennedy were both long gone.  I was too young to care about politics and grew up trusting the Office of the President would protect me and my family and trusting that it would represent America as a decent and fair member of the world community. America was the hero that always came to the rescue.

Now, of course, I’ve seen too much to put my head in the sand and ignore the consequences of abuse of power, misjudgments and the vindictive nature of politics.  I believe the news media should let us know if there is unequivocal evidence that our elected officials have cracks in their character but there should be no tolerance for conjecture in order to sell newspapers or online advertisements.

During the last presidential election many of the comments and posts I saw on our social networks that were directed at our President by American citizens were obscene and many without relevant content.  While I respect the right of a person to speak their mind, there is such a thing as responsibility and certainly all Americans should, at the very least, respect the Office of the President if they cannot respect the person occupying that office.

As for the President’s family, I know since Jackie O we’ve all become more interested in how a president’s wife looks and dresses and I like to think interested in the good works accomplished by our first ladies, but many of today’s “news stories” about the President’s family have entered into the realms of are you kidding me and who cares?  During the last presidential election I saw comments and photos about Michelle Obama, with absolutely no campaign related information, that would have been tolerated only in the back alleys when I was a kid.  Recently, I heard some idiot suggest that if the President wants to take guns away from citizens then why not take the guns away from the people who are protecting his children; two girls who potentially would be prime targets of any number of terrorist kidnapping and assassination scenarios.

I don’t understand why anyone would want the job of President of the United States.

The President earns a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, and a $100,000 nontaxable travel account. We’ve all heard of athletes and entertainers who spend that kind of money on a long weekend.  The Presidential office has not had a raise in 12 years, since 2001.

I don’t understand why anyone would want the job of President of the United States.

Yet, there have been great men who fought for the job and who rose to face history head-on while making hard decisions that formed the country we are today:  George, who stepped out of the ranks of our founding fathers, Abe who saw us through the Civil War and started us on the long road to equality before he was shot to death because of the job he held.  Woodrow guided us through WW1.   Franklin’s “new Deal” that got us through the Great Depression and his signature on the Declaration of War after the attack on Pearl Harbor that committed us to WW2, a war that ended when Harry made that fateful decision to drop the A-Bomb.  John’s cold war stand-off with Khrushchev when we learned that hiding under our school desks would protect us from the fallout from the atom bomb and John’s assassination that broke our hearts.  And, Jimmy’s attempt to hold countries accountable for their civil rights decisions in order to qualify for US support.

I use their first names not out of disrespect, but to emphasize they were human beings like the rest of us who made the choice to accept the world’s most difficult job.  Whether history has proven that the decisions made by these men, and the men that preceded and followed them into the Oval Office, were right or wrong, they had to carry the responsibility for the consequences of their decisions, a responsibility that is unimaginable to most of us.

That’s why I respect our presidential office even if I did not always respect the man who worked there. 

Why do men seek and accept the job?  Some think it's all about ego, some men may have been swept into office by circumstance.  I like to think many of our Presidents accepted the job out of patriotism, love for our country. 

So, on this Presidents’ Day 2013 I am thankful to all of the men who tried their best to protect us and lead our country forward and … wait for it … I am looking forward to the day when America is ready to give us women a crack at it.

Happy Valentine's Day 2013
2/11/2013 2:15:55 PM
Happy Valentine’s Day! I know many people think it’s a frivolous day created by Hallmark to make money and no doubt they do, but I like Valentine’s Day whether I’m with someone or not. Love is in the air. 
Charlie Brown, his face as red as a tomato, hands a Valentine card to the little red haired girl. The high school jock sheepishly pulls a red velvet heart-shaped box of chocolates out of his blue duffle bag and hands it to the sweet young girl who is waiting patiently to receive her first Valentine gift from a boy. 
The young man pats his pocket for the twentieth time in 20 minutes to be sure the small black velvet box holding the diamond ring that cost him three months’ salary is still safely tucked inside as he takes the steps to his girlfriend’s apartment two at a time, anxious to see the look on her face when she sees the ring he has selected and 99.9% sure she will say yes. She will say yes, won’t she?
The harried father who works long hours to support his family comes home at the end of the workday with a small bouquet of flowers he just bought at the corner supermarket and his wife smiles wondering where he found the time, but happy that he did, as she hands him the Valentine card she selected at the same supermarket two weeks earlier while the kids screamed at each other and dangled off the shopping cart. Their three children look at each other and smile, reassured that their parents are still in love.
The twenty-something who is the romantic one, rushes home from work and prepares a romantic dinner for his girlfriend who breezes in from work, enjoys the meal, then sits in front of the computer while he is left to clear away the remnants of his romantic gesture.
The thirty-something who wonders if it’s too soon in her new relationship to buy those heart-covered boxer shorts for her beau.
The empty nesters whose children are grown and out in the world who go to their favorite restaurant on Valentine’s Day and quietly spend the time watching the romantic couples surrounding them, safe in the knowledge that their hard work and determination has created a love and mutual respect that will indeed last their lifetimes.
The empty nesters who sit in the same restaurant with nothing to say to each other and watch the romantic couples surrounding them and long for that romance, having settled early on in their lives for the safe choice that isn’t enough anymore now that the hectic days of child rearing are behind them.
The old couple who have loved each other since they were children and who cannot imagine a life without the other who sit on their well worn sofa in their small apartment and hold hands, the single pink rose he bought her at the drug store on the corner tilting out of the small white bud vase he bought for her when she was fifteen years old.
All the single ladies and men who have chosen the single life or had the single life forced upon them by happenstance. Many don’t shy away from Valentine’s Day, but celebrate by enjoying the opportunity to let their family and friends know how much they are appreciated and loved. Some just ignore the day entirely and there are those of us who think Valentine’s Day is a lovely little day, but believe we should tell the people we care about that we love them EVERY day.
However you spend Valentine’ Day, I hope it's fun.
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