This may be pure fantasy, but I’d like to think that a change has come over the man Trump, that he has discovered some humility. It would be very refreshing to have a president who could show his very real human side. On occasion Obama seemed to do that, but I always had the feeling that he was holding something back, hiding something, controlling himself.
Sometimes we say of candidates that he or she is “presidential”, which I think has much to do with little that matters about the person who we elect. We want to know that the president is calm, cool, and collected. And if we’re realistic we know that there are not many people like that. Politicians are likely the very worst: quite good at projecting an image while they do its exact opposite. They cozy up to the big money that elects them while they pour bullshit all over the hard-working upstanding decent folks back home who unwittingly vote for them year after year.
Sure, there are tons of people who are comfortable in their daily lives and seem to have that cool. But put them outside of their familiar box, and what have you got? Often enough, you have someone who’s ready to freak out at any moment. Some hide it better than others, of course. Life for most of us is a very uncertain experiment. We just keep trying to find something that works. But what worked yesterday may not work today, not in this rapidly moving world.
Who among us can even begin to understand the demands and duties of the office of President of the US? Who among us knows the currents—and undercurrents—of power and money that form a constant storm around the Oval Office? Anyone we elect will be flawed, flawed just as we ourselves are flawed and he or she will have to deal with this experiment called life, just as we do. We hope and trust, of course, that the flaws do not color their judgement.
We’ve been electing people straight from the political cesspool for years, people who for the most part have been “presidential”. And where has that gotten us? It is clear that a large number of people are not happy with the state of the disunion and disarray in the land. It is very clear that we want change. Life has never been fair and now it appears that our government is doing all it can to institutionalize that lack of parity.
I do not imply here that Mr. Trump’s going to “fix” what’s broken. I will say that it is high time to examine our expectations of the power of the President. It is well past time to examine our expectations of ourselves, what we want to be, and what we want our nation and our world to be.
I can’t help recalling these great words from John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Perhaps Mr. Trump’s victory is precisely the wake-up call we all needed, reminding us to stay involved, to stay tuned. Politics continues long after the drama of the election is over. We generate exchange tons of energy over the long, very drawn-out presidential elections. In between them is the time to harness our passion and make the difference that makes the world different and better. Do your best, every day. Make your life count, for you and your world—because it is your world.