Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't write me in

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I've written here before about what a pain in the ass a presidential campaign is, and about the bizarre nature of third-party candidacies, and about how John McCain's constant splay-fingeredness makes him look like a ghoul. I've been basically implying for a while that I'm not interested in the job. But just so we're absolutely clear, now that America is headed to the polls and you have the write-in option: Don't write me in for president. Please.

I don't want to be the president. Ever. To be perfectly honest, to want to be president you'd have to have a fucking screw loose somewhere.

Yes, that means I think both Barack Obama and John McCain must therefore have a screw loose somewhere. That's right, I said it. Bob Barr and Ralph Nader, too. Quite a few untightened fasteners there, particularly considering their chances. And Ron Paul. Especially Ron Paul.

Listen: As president, you're entire job is to take shit from everyone. That's the whole deal. Taking shit from everyone and having headaches.

You take no end of shit from whatever party you're not in. It's built into the two-party system: it's You and Them. You are not Them. They are not You.

McCain has called Obama everything from "that one" to a terrorist-palling-around-with secret-Muslim Manchurian candidate socialist no-goodnik who faked his birth certificate. If he's elected, Obama can expect things to start getting really nasty. President Bush has been taking shit nonstop for almost eight years, being called everything from mentally disabled to a war criminal -- and while those descriptions might be somewhat apt, it must stink to hear them over and over and over.

You even take shit from people in your own party. Both McCain and Obama have some experience with this, having endured primaries where their party-mates told everyone who would listen that voting for McCain or Obama would be like shooting yourself in the foot, except you can't remove the bullet for another four years -- you'd just have to sit there with a bleeding, throbbing, gangrenous foot until it falls off of its own accord.

As president you take shit from entire countries. That's basically the job. The president is the one guy who we've decided is going to take shit from other nations on behalf of all 300 million Americans. And this shit they're giving us is sometimes grim -- very grim indeed. Imagine being the person who's in charge when the Air Force accidentally bombs a children's hospital in Afghanistan. You can let the pissed-off president of Afghanistan go to voice mail for only so long before it becomes your job, as president, to formulate some kind of tactful reply.

When you're president, everything wrong that happens is your fault -- things that may have nothing to do with you directly. The weather. Too much sex in films. Potholes. Pedophile priests. Lousy housing prices. If it involves America, and it sucks, you did it, pal. Never mind logic. Never mind your dozens of lackeys in the administration who work for you. You did it. The buck stops with you -- every single buck stops with you. That goes for everyone on the planet. If a McDonald's opens too close to the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptians are not going to find out who the CEO of McDonald's is, and burn him in effigy. They burn you. You're "close enough."

Sometimes things really are your fault. You approve some stupid decision that seemed like a good idea at the time -- if only to you -- and whole populations end up poor, unemployed, or dead. Which makes the possibility of screwing something up staggeringly high. I prefer jobs with an easily attainable threshold for success. Like being in newspapers. I get a few weeks of vacation every year to do with as I please, weekends off, and as long as every day's newspaper comes out eventually, everyone's a winner.

Everything you do is scrutinized and criticized. Maybe you're too fat. You're too young. Your beard is funny. You drink too much. You're too boring. You're too exciting. Expect to be nagged about those things for the rest of your life. Also, expect nutcases to try to assassinate you, every day, because they're mentally ill and they blame you for their awful, pathetic lives, the same way you're blamed for everything else.

Whoever wins the presidency tonight will inherit a massive debt, huge budget deficits, two wars, crappy infrastructure, an economy one clockwise toilet spiral away from Great Depression II, and about 100 million people furious that McCain didn't win. All this for $400,000 a year plus bennies. And you'll look like a bastard unless you give away your salary to charity. Who willingly applies for a job knowing that it's going to be a major clusterfuck you won't even get paid for? Strange people -- that's who.

You put up with all this nonsense, locked into a four-year contract you can't negotiate with, for nothing except a shot at making a difference in American history. And that's not even guaranteed. Two words for you: Millard Fillmore. Don't use Wikipedia -- name me three reasons why he's important, and one of them cannot be because his name sounds funny.

The one positive thing? You get room and board in a centralized location in a major city. And a maid. Those things would be nice. I'd like that. But I can get them by simply having a good enough job without the hassle of the presidency. And you can too. Kids: if you're reading this, work hard and dream big -- one day you can grow up to not be president, too.


Qrystal said...

"Whoever wins the presidency tonight will inherit ... about 100 million people furious that McCain didn't win."

HAH! I almost missed it until I read it twice. :P

Anonymous said...

So you've become a pirate and grown up I see. When we cannot have our inside joke and voice our opinion when we feel is our time to. That it just might offend someone. OMG! That is just one more paper cut in that count to a thousand.


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