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John Steinbeck wrote this 42 years ago, and I think it's something Barack is going to have to remember as he continues the race, and eventually enters the White House.

The President must be greater than anyone else, but not better than anyone else. We subject him and his family to close and constant scrutiny and denounce them for things that we ourselves do every day. A Presidential slip of the tongue, a slight error in judgment — social, political, or ethical — can raise a storm of protest. We give the President more work than a man can do, more responsibility than a man should take, more pressure than a man can bear. We abuse him often and rarely praise him. We wear him out, use him up, eat him up. And with all this, Americans have a love for the President that goes beyond loyalty or party nationality; he is ours, and we exercise the right to destroy him.
I particularly like the part about how the Pres must be greater than anyone else, but not better than anyone else. Americans confuse me.

4 new thought(s):

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

steinbeck couldn't have said it any better. deep in their hearts, americans do want a pres who's greater AND better than them, they're just too embarassed that they voted for the guy that they "can have a beer with"... twice.

The Breaking Point said...

@ stacie von kutieboots: I think that now Americans want a president who's greater than them, but I recall distinctly reading about and listening to talking heads wax ad nauseum about having a beer with Bush.

Yellow Rebel said...

That last sentence reminds me of something said in the movie V for Vendetta: The people shouldn't be afraid of the gov't; the gov't should be afraid of its people.

Of course the movie is pretty anarchist, but you get the idea.

Sadly, the "right to destroy" the president--which, from my analysis of what you posted, would involve the people exercising their power to vote in a diplomatic way so that he/she must conform to our will. Sadly, our political system (and pretty much any system in this country) has been weighed down with the greatest impedent of all: bureaucracy.

It's all nice and dandy thinking that a president has to go in with 'constant scrutiny', etc--and without question they do, but from what I've gotten out of politics, the president has enough people surrounding him that us actually having an effect is null at best.

A poly-sci professor once mentioned that one way to ensure that people vote and that the power of the vote is stronger would be to eliminate the 8-year rule. If the American public got stuck with the notion that we could have Bush as pres again & again so long as he is live, they would definitely vote more and take the time out to pay attention to politics, candidates, etc.

Sorry for the verbatim & the tangent Shani O. I hope you got me.

Anonymous said...

This describes why Colin wouldn't run. The gift/curse of being president can't be overstated.