I’ve often thought of writing a novel. I have a number of ideas but honestly make believe is not as crazy as real life. Sometimes you just can’t make up stuff that is as good as reality. I’m a big fan of House of Cards but often it feels as though the writers have jumped the shark. I mean, really, the plot seems a bit far fetched but then so does our present political scene. Nobody would believe the story that is unfolding if I were to write a fictional story about it and yet it is the truth.
Imagine my creating a character who never held political office, had been married multiple times and was known as an audacious blowhard. Would anyone truly consider such a person as a potential candidate for President of the United States? What if I further demonstrated his lack of manners by writing a scenario in which he boasted of his predatory sexual conquests? Who in their right mind would be able to accept my premise that he had a rabid following of supporters?
Even more unlikely is the idea that his opponent would be a rather uncharismatic older woman who has a reputation for sometimes bending the truth and a problem with keeping matters of national security safe. Nonetheless like her buffoonish counterpart she has a loyal following who refuses to see her flaws.
Add to the mix accusations of sexual assault by the fledgling politician and a probe by the FBI into the dealings of the more established candidate and you have a freaky story that seems impossible to accept. I would be a fool to even consider writing such a plot. I suspect that I would be laughed out of the ranks of serious authors unless I somehow managed to sell it as humorous satire, which makes the reality of our present election so strange.
I keep thinking that I will wake up one morning only to find that everything has been only a very bad dream. Out of the millions of people who might have thrown their hats into the ring, how is it possible that we are faced with such a dilemma? Has being president become such an onerous job that only a few souls have the courage to even try? After all we tend to try to destroy the reputations of anyone who even considers the possibility of running. Think of the horrid accusations that have been hurled at George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Recall the terrible things said about Mitt Romney and John McCain. Who would want to even put the members of their family through such a wringer? Those ultimately willing to endure the verbal beatings are far stronger than I would ever be.
I’ve often joked that I would make a great President of the United States. Still, I think of the many ways that my sterling character might be defamed. Someone would surely find the photo of me sitting in the big middle of a gathering of the Students for a Democratic Society back when I was a freshman in college. That group went on to have a rather unhealthy reputation. I’m certain that there would be those who would suggest that I am a Communist or rabble rouser at heart.
Then there is the matter of mental illness. Both my mother and my grandmother suffered from mental breakdowns. Would my quirkiness suddenly become a sure sign of my own disorder? There would certainly be whispers that I am unfit to hold such a demanding office even though I have never personally shown any signs of having the same genetic predisposition to nervous diseases as my ancestors.
I have surely made someone angry along the way. That person will suddenly appear with a story of my anger or unfairness or other such complaint. What kind of dirt would anxious reporters find on me or members of my family? Would that quarter that I stole when I was seven become a national scandal? How would I be able to explain that I returned it four fold and confessed to my sin at least seven times?
There would no doubt be infractions that I don’t even remember. Such is the way of modern day campaigns. I doubt that I would last more than a month without withdrawing my name from the contest. I enjoy my privacy far too much. I really don’t want to become an international pin cushion in the blood sport of politics.
I suppose that there has always been a bit of nastiness associated with holding the highest office in the land. Mrs. Lincoln was all but driven insane by a press that never liked her. They had no pity when she lost her children and witnessed the murder of her husband. The public was happy enough to rid themselves of her when she quietly went away to live out her remaining days in poverty and sadness. We have a very bad habit of being rather cruel to those who live or want to live in the White House.
I don’t know where all of this drama will ultimately lead. I suppose we will have a few answers in about a week but I fear that the story will drag on for years regardless of the outcome. I don’t know about everyone else but I am a bit tired of the anger. I much prefer fairytale endings but doubt that we will see one of those for some time. I’d like to think that as people we might choose to be a bit nicer when it comes to our political thinking but that doesn’t make for much of an exciting story and right now everyone who writes is hoping for the big surprise. This election certainly doesn’t disappoint anyone who revels in irony and uncertainty. I truly wonder where it will all lead. At this point nothing seems to be out of the question. My usual ability to predict the way that people will react is out of whack. I’m just as confused as anyone. God help us!