A Presidency Is Not …

Things an Actual President Would Never Do … We Hope

At this point, I must admit something.  I am not the person making this blog happen.  Yes, the words are mine, and the ideas.  But so far, everything else is my daughter’s.  Were I to have tried doing this on my own, it would be maybe a decade before I figured out how.  Maybe never.  Sometime soon I must sit down with her and have her walk me through the details of how to put a document (like this one) onto the blog launching pad (or what ever it’s called), how to edit the document when it’s positioned on the blog launching pad (I seriously doubt it’s called a “blog launching pad,” but that’s as good a name for it as any, don’t you think?), how to stick an illustration inserted into text (like this one) …

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(The only purpose the above illustration serves is to represent an example of an illustration inserted into text.)

… and how to schedule it to appear on the world wide web at a pre-determined time (as I hope to hell this one will, come 8:00 Friday morning).

I must learn my own way, eventually.  I mean, my girl has a full-time job, friends, a beau she seems serious about, a dog of her own, car payments to make, interesting things to do, places to be, people to see—in short, a life of her own.  Yet for weeks, she has been slavishly enabling me to get this baby up and running.  And to this day, not yet two weeks into the life of “Mr. Cope’s Cave,” she is the only method I have of transferring my words and ideas from my lonely little desktop in the basement, into to your awareness, dear readers.

And this is why you won’t be getting any up-to-the-minute observations on the Republican National Convention from this source. Certainly, I will have plenty of thoughts on the disgusting display just getting underway in Cleveland (it’s last Monday morning as I write this), but most of those observations will have to stay with me down in the basement, where they will ricochet off the walls, blistering the paint wherever they strike and setting the carpet to smoldering when they finally drop to the floor.  I simply cannot ask her for anymore tech support than she is already giving me.

And were I to try to sum up the totality of the convention, most notably Donald Trump’s reptilian presence at it, I would have to wait until the thing was over, wouldn’t I?  I would have to wait until after all the phony testimonials have been made, all the scandalous accusations have been thrown, all the lies have been told, all the hatred and bigotry and misogyny and malevolence has been displayed, and all the balloons have dropped.  I would have to wait until after the Baboon King, himself, has snorted and gurgled and puked out his acceptance speech.  That delight will come Thursday night, as I understand it—the last event of the convention.

Then, in order to have it ready for posting early Friday morning—this morning—I would have to start writing late last night, finish writing even later last night, call my daughter (who will no doubt be in bed by this time, as she has a job to go to this morning), and expect her to go through the process of transferring whatever I’ve written from the basement to the virtual universe.

Nope, can’t do that.  Like her father, my daughter can be pretty damn grumpy when somebody wakes her up.

So, instead of trying to be current and relevant, I intend to use this week composing a reminder of what a presidency is not, in contrast to what a presidential campaign is.  In a nation populated by mature and reasonable people, such a memorandum wouldn’t be necessary.  Mature and reasonable people already understand there is a vast difference between the absurdities of a presidential campaign, and the responsibilities of an actual presidency.  But since at least the 2000 election, when a ridiculous specimen (almost as unqualified as the abomination the GOP has put forth this year) was allowed to steal the highest office in the land, I have had serious doubts that “mature and reasonable” have a serious place anymore in American politics.

Besides, over the course of a campaign that seems to go on for fucking ever, we tend to forget that far to many of the skills needed to conduct an effective campaign have very little to do with what it takes to conduct an effective presidency.

So here we go—what not to expect come next January, when the new President will be sworn in.

But first, let us insert another illustration for those who feel they cannot read more than 500 words without a picture  to look at.

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(The illustration above this caption is there for no other purpose than to keep the easily-distracted awake, and should not be construed as some sort of comment onthe Republican National Convention.)

* * *

  • A presidency is NOT two stump speeches and a fundraiser every day for months on end.

While it is true that Presidents have to make a speech now and then, the greater share of the job is eaten up by much more mundane activities: e.g., promoting legislation to Congress, conducting relations with other nations, setting forth policy, getting us into/out of wars, working to keep the economy on an even keel, etc.  And when an actual President does make a speech, he or she can do it in a calm, natural manner, and does not have to screech over a thundering mob of placard-waving supporters in a high school gymnasium or an airport hangar, or throw his or her arms about like he (or she) is kung-fu-ing invisible ninjas, thereby sounding and looking like he or she is a crazed mime.

  • A presidency is NOT a guest shot on Jimmy Kimmel or SNL.

Which is not to say the occasional appearance on popular media doesn’t happen for an actual President.  But when it does, it isn’t an attempt to appeal to a particular demographic whose votes are crucial to the candidate’s ultimate victory, or a pathetic attempt to seem  like a more “normal” human being.

  • A presidency is NOT an opportunity for people with nothing better on their minds to criticize what the actual President is wearing.

True, in this Age of Generalized Superficiality, any First Lady may feel she has to stay overly-concerned with what she wears in public, as there seems to be no end to people with nothing better on their minds than how famous women dress themselves.  But the actual President will no longer have to worry if a public appearance in shirt sleeves (or pant suits) won’t be interpreted as a political ploy to appear more down-home. The actual Mister President can wear any damn thing he wants and nobody will much care—unless he is a black Mister President, which means to certain people, any variation from the pompous white guy norm is interpreted as disrespect for the office and/or fecklessness.

(We have yet to see whether the same standard will apply to an actual Madam President.)

  • A presidency is NOT a call for the actual President to brag endlessly about what a remarkable, marvelous, superior individual he (or she) is.

Yes, as actual President, he (or she) will undoubtedly speak of his (or her) accomplishments from time to time, and may have to defend a particular action he (or she) has taken.  But not even George Bush was so stupidly self-centered to continually tell Americans how brilliant he was, how articulate he was, how successful he was, how much money he was worth, how hot his daughters were, what a big dick he had, etc.

  • A presidency is NOT a platform from which an actual President can spew his (or her) childish insults, tasteless jokes, derogatory inferences, racist rhetoric, inflammatory proposals and insane conspiracy theories.

In a nation of mature and reasonable people, this statement would need no further explanation. But in a campaign season when childish insults, tasteless jokes, derogatory inferences, racist rhetoric, inflammatory proposals and insane conspiracy theories have become the norm in one of America’s major political parties, who can even guess where an actual President from such a sewer might take us?

Clearly, there are more distinctions between a presidential candidate and an actual President than I can possibly list here. Yet I am confident that the few I have included here-in would raise a pertinent question: Of those currently running for the President of the United States and leader of the free world, which one do we suppose would have the greatest difficulty adjusting to the maturity and reasonableness we expect from an actual President?  

Now excuse me.  My daughter has given me a few tips on inserting an illustration into text, and I’m going to try it right now.

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