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I Wonder What It's Like???

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posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 03:13 PM
I did not post this in the Mud Pit for a reason; this is a bipartisan thread (hopefully it can stay that way!).

I will use some examples to lay out the theme of the thread, but please read them ALL because I'm going to use both parties, and I'm not picking on one or the other.

Throughout much of the last 70+ years (really since 1945) we have seen so many pictures of a sitting US president sitting alone in a room, usually at night, working or thinking about something. Many of the pictures are press moments, so you know someone else (probably a few) was there in the room too, but that's not what this is about. No, it's about the real moments when there really is nobody else around. It's about that moment when the only light on in the room is the one by your chair, and it's just you.

Nixon alone drinking his scotch by the fire. Kennedy alone. Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump, all alone by themselves late at night, something keeping them up. Sure, there's usually always people around, but sometimes people, even presidents, just need some "alone" time. It's not every night, but just those one-off nights where you're all alone. The weight of the entire world is on your shoulders, and that moment you realize you are just one mortal, one man who might be afraid or doesn't know what to do...that decision which will make the World or both sides of your political spectrum angry. That mistake you made, or the gamble that paid off wrong. I wonder what it's like.

I wonder what it's like to sit there in the semi-darkness of that venerable old White House, steeped in the history of 300+ years of a country, looking around at the priceless historical paintings and artifacts, knowing the that pillars of a nation walked those same halls or looked at those same paintings...and that realization you're just one man, just one incarnation of two parents. Wondering what tomorrow will bring, but in the same breath knowing you hold the power to destroy the entire planet in your shirt pocket, just a single pen stroke away. More importantly...knowing you could be wrong, that you could, now or in the future, make a terrible mistake, a blunder which would change the entire world.

I remember many years ago Bill Clinton held a late night televised release to the American public about the Lewinsky scandal. To this day I am struck by the starkness of that moment. (in fact, someone posted this very televised segment just today on another thread). There he sat, seemingly alone as he read those words. I was struck not by what he was saying, or even by him sitting there, but I was gobsmacked by where he was sitting and what the room looked like how the heavy curtains hung in the background and dim lighting. And even though there were people in the room when he uttered those words...he'd spent many hours alone in that office looking at those same things, but the gravity of the moment made those simple things seem so much more important, something I'm sure not lost on him or any others who have sat there before or since. Same examples with Nixon, and Reagan, and Bush, and Carter, and Obama, and Bush.

It was the most dreaded moment anyone can imagine, the absolutely worst moment of a life, and even with all the power in the world you are helpless to do anything but read the words on a piece of paper, words that cut you to ribbons.

I wonder what it's like? The fear, the anguish, the defeat, the helplessness...all those portraits of the political giants of centuries past staring at you no matter where you go.

I wonder what it's like?

I just can't imagine.

posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 03:19 PM
And just to put things into further focus, I picked 1945 for a reason. Prior to 1945 no president really had the power/ability to single-handedly bring about the end of the world, but since then all those men have.

It's not about ego, but rather fear. Fear and helplessness that some simple thing can bring down the entire house of cards and force a decision of that magnitude.

And consequences of making the wrong choice!

posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 03:30 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Good question--one to which I have no answer (even though I think that it was all rhetorical).

I would add that I wonder what it's like to have a population of people literally hate you and fight against you vehemently solely based on a mix of ideology and ignorance.

That goes for every president, ever, although the intensity is increasing as years go on, and modern presidents are actually, on a daily basis, exposed to the individual comments from people via social media that, prior to the invention of the debacle of a digital world, presidents were protected from.

I think that being the POTUS has a difficulty surrounding what you mention that has increase exponentially in the last decade--rarely can you find a moment to be left with your own thoughts now, without the infection of outside opinions from people who don't generally understand the totality of the issue.

And there you sit, as POTUS, knowing that every single thing that you do will be met with hatred and anger at the speed of the internet.

It's absolutely not a position in which I'd want to find myself.

Of course, the POTUS can choose to focus on the positive reactions that also come in at the speed of internet, but ignoring the hatred is energy that should be used elsewhere on things that actually matter.

I don't doesn't sound too appealing to me.

posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 03:36 PM
a reply to: SlapMonkey

Indeed, it's a very fine wire to walk.

Every decision, no matter what, will be met with anger and hatred. I think a person could get past that eventually though, but it's the question YOU have, the one where you question right or wrong, or maybe don't have an answer of your own, the question where only YOU can decide...those are the moments alone I am referring to.

I think you could get to a point where you could ignore much of the public opinion, but it's that one question to YOURSELF which is the really vexing one. The question where if you make a mistake people might die, or you throw away a lifetime of work, or, or, or. I'm sure there are hundreds.

posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 04:09 PM

originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
I wonder what it's like?
I just can't imagine.

Like many people, I suspect that if you manage to make it to be President of the United States of America, you have to be fairly insane. Yeah, you might want to do it to "help" people, but anybody with any real intelligence knows that being President is not necessarily the best job for that. So what you get are a lot of crazy egomaniacs, or -- as suggested in another thread -- you're a puppet beholden to parties and contributors and all kinds of other people who essentially "own" you.

So I imagine Presidents working late into the night either trying to do their homework for the next day, or they're having conversations with imaginary beings like the equivalent of Fred Flintstone's The Great Gazoo.

posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 04:30 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Yeah, I got that--I was just trying to add to the picture that there would also be tons of distractions in the contemporary world that, say, Kennedy, didn't have to deal with.

It would make your cited moments of extremely stressful contemplation even harder and more stressful.

In any even, I like your OP, because most people don't pause and think about things like that.

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