When reading this piece in the NY Times today on Hillary Clinton, I can't help but get sad.
When I was 8, I wanted to be President.
I believed it, not just in the "I'm 8 and I don't understand the world and just want the coolest looking job I can see" way, but really, because I wanted to do something really good. I thought, "I'm smart, I'm good, I can be President and really make a difference". Now, you could call that childhood naivete on my part, but the thing is, that desire grew stronger the older I got. But the older I got, the more the game of Politics continued to shift.
Hillary Clinton is the FIRST LEGITIMATE FEMALE PRESIDENTIAL candidate the U.S. has ever had. This is monumental. But the reality is, in order to get there, she's had to endure ridiculous scrutiny, pain and embarrassment.. in public. She's had to raise a daughter, suffer through an extramarital affair and lead her life on camera for 15 years. And still, "the public" looks at her and thinks things like "ice queen", "insensitive", "boring" etc. WTF?!? Wouldn't you quit by now or be the biggest a-hole ever, if you had to go through what she has?
And it's not just Hillary who has to deal with this. All of our candidates do, in different ways. Look at Mitt Romney and the focus on his religion. Or Obama, the wunderkind, who's played about in the media as the malleable storyline that can be used to spice any campaign discussion up. One day, he's an inspiring once-in-a-generation speaker of truth and the next, he's portrayed as the inexperienced junior Senator from Illinois who is all talk and no substance.
It's maddening. I used to want to be President. For 12 years, every day that desire got stronger. And then I realized that there was NO WAY I could endure the lives that these politicians have to lead in order to do what they do.
These people, the politicians, they're supposed to be OUR EMPLOYEES. We choose them, we pay them, we ask them to go solve big problems for us. And we treat them like utter crap.
Isn't it time that we woke up to this fact? If you manage people and you treat them this way, you're not going to have those people doing very good work for you, I can promise you that. So why is it different for our politicians?
Shame on us. We need to fix this if we want a different kind of President.