Every four years my time spent reading, watching the news and trading emails with politically active friends across the aisle ramps up dramatically. This year even more so than in 2004, the stakes feel incredibly high. I thought I’d post a few thoughts here across the course of the last month of the Presidential campaign. It really is a truly amazing country that every four years for well over two centuries has managed to pull back from whatever is the crisis of the day and, in a process filled sometimes with mud, occasionally with bile and yes, every once in awhile with a little bit of grace, selects its leader for the next little bit of time.
I certainly have my strong preference in this upcoming election, as do many, but I’m not one to state that so and so will ruin our country. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t believe that one of the candidates is woefully ill-equipped to handle the job. I certainly do think he is. But the job is bigger than either one of them. And if you think about it, at least once, and (depending on the order they came in) possibly several times in our nation’s history we’ve been led by “the worst President (up to that point) in history”. And yet, by virtue of the fact that we’re heading into elections again, we survived. And we will again.
Because more so than any other country on earth, the “leader of the free world” starts the job with his days already numbered. FDR notwithstanding you get 1461 if you fail your performance review. 2922 if you pass. And then you’re out. You don’t linger on the scene like Putin’s post Presidential leadership in Russia. You build a library, you build some houses. If you’re really lucky you might end up the First Gentleman. But your time in the big chair is limited and the power, ultimately, rests with the people you serve.
So, I’ll do whatever I can in the month ahead to try and secure the leadership America deserves. But if we end up with someone else I believe we’ll make it through.