Think carefully, now:
Every four years, we have an interesting confluence of events in the United States, and particularly one that I think helps define the type of person you think you might be. Sure, you can look at the years whose numbers in the Roman Calendar are divisible by four and say, "Okay, there's Leap Day, but so what?" I will argue, however, that a deep psychological truth can be discovered if you are in the mood for self-reflection.
Consider: Every four years, we have a time when you can ask yourself a very telling, and in some cases, pivotal question. And the way you answer it can determine, if not the course of your life, at least the route you would prefer it take. Ready?
Wait. Think before you answer. These are two races that will be dissected, scrutinized, analyzed and for all I know bowlderized before the year is over. Winners will be chosen by a select group (in the case of the presidency, too select because not enough people choose to participate) of voters. Losers will be shunted to the side, only to become the answers to trivia questions as the years pass. They will have to appear jovial and conciliatory at the moment their rivals are declared victors, and go home to lick their wounds in private, firing their closest advisors who brought upon this outrage, since the blame must certainly not be their own.
And how you answer the question will provide a window to... well, not your soul, necessarily, but certainly your megalomania. Which would you choose?
Personally, I'm going home with Oscar if I get the choice.
Every election year, voters complain that we only seem to get candidates who are out of touch with the average voter. They say the people who run for office see themselves as above the typical citizen, because of money or power or the seductive effects of both those things, coupled with the constant reinforcement they're given from sycophants who tell them everything they do is perfect.
Of course we get those people. Of course crazy people run for president. What sane person would want that job? What human being within driving distance of reality would think he or she is qualified to do it?
Nope, I'm getting an Academy Award. All that happens then is people who do the same thing you do tell you they think you did a good job. There's no responsibility. Everything that is required of the award is done BEFORE you campaign for it. After you win, you go to some parties, do some interviews, and go home (preferably) with your spouse to celebrate. Then next year, you show up to hand out the award to the next person in line, and wait for the next update of Trivial Pursuit to see if your name's made it in there yet.
Once you're elected president, you begin to age in dog years. Nobody has ever left that office looking as good as they did when they arrived. People start to complain--before you begin the job--that you're not doing it well enough. Everyone you've ever met wants a job, and will be incredibly peeved if they don't get the one they want--and a lot of them wanted to job you have now.
Then you get the first briefing from the security and defense people, where you find out what's REALLY going on, and if your hair wasn't grey before, it will be by eleven that morning. If it was grey before, it will start to fall out.
And here's how crazy most of these people are--after four years of that, they work like the Dickens to get it all AGAIN.
The presidency? You can keep it. I'd just like to get the envelope from which my name was read and the chance to thank people while Billy Crystal looks on. Or, if I don't achieve all my aspirations, a tape of the phone call when they let me know I'm in the running. I can fake not hating the winner as well as anybody, I'll bet. Just give me the chance, I say.
After all, it's an honor just to be nominated.
Which one would YOU choose?
P.S. Pitchers and catchers reported yesterday. There is hope.