How many of us have ever been president of something? I was elected president of the Southwest High School German Club in the fall of my senior year. I wasn’t ambitious or qualified; I just had the most Germanic name so I was the leader of choice. My only responsibilities involved overseeing the annual fundraiser, the Gummy Bear sale, and making sure we had enough competitors for the Foreign Language Fair. Gummy Bears were still very exotic in 1984, so they were an easy sell. Recruiting classmates to perform plays in German was a different story. We ended up with only two entries in the spoken German category; my best friends supported me by performing “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” auf deutsch and yours truly and another friend performed a depressing dialog about a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and tries to convince her Mutti that a stork is responsible. Whether it was the material we chose or the talent we presented, none of us left the fair with a ribbon that day. Sad, since we had given up a Friday night to be in top form for Saturday morning competition; and we didn’t win any resume-building accolades. It was that Saturday evening when I decided being president, being the one responsible for all, is not for me.
Being a president is hard work. Are any of us really capable or qualified to be president? Having said that, though, the definitions of president sound pretty impressive: head of state; chief executive; person who presides over an assembly, corporation or group; one who governs a body of people, etc. What, with all that power, who wouldn’t want to preside? Who hasn’t thought, just once, “Heck, I could be a better president than that guy!” (more…)