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Opinion April 2012

Would You Want Your Grandchild to Run for President?

By Denton Harris

I have a grandson, who makes such a tremendous impression on people many have said, “He should run for president one day.” To which my answer is, “I pray not!”

Remember when mothers use to say, “My son might grow up to be president of the United States!” You don’t hear that now. Maybe predicting that son or daughter may be a doctor, a lawyer, a top executive or other achievements, but certainly not president.

Why this turnaround? The simple answer is who wants his or her child to be exposed to being the brunt of media pressure and the focus of all kinds of jokes and accusation. Plus endless days of stress and dozens of other not especially good things for any person who might be fortunate in reaching such heights of what used to be success but might currently be rated a bit lower.

I have a grandson, who makes such a tremendous impression on people many have said, “He should run for president one day.” To which my answer is, “I pray not!”

He is age 28, 6 ft. 5 in. in height, has a master’s degree from Columbia University, speaks and writes Arabic fluently, is an expert on the Middle East and is currently in Afghanistan as a U.S. employee for one year working with the locals.

Sure. he would be an excellent candidate for any political office, especially president.

He is very handsome, down to earth with common sense.

So, you ask, “Wouldn’t you be very proud for him to lead our nation?”

My answer, “Yes, and No.” No, because of what he would have to go through to be elected.

He would lose his personal life, he would have to beg for money, perhaps compromise some of his beliefs and become a slave to his goal.

You may ask why I am so concerned? Because I’ve seen what those candidates for the Republican slot in the presidential race are going through. Would you enjoy traveling all over the nation, appearing on television, hosting news conferences, bombarded for autographs, hounded by favor seekers? You would be criticized for each misstep, each public statement, accused of reversing your position on events years ago? Constant harassment from the media, cooked up scandals often untrue. I could go on and on with endless problems in a nationally viewed political campaign. The public has illustrated how fickle we can be in choosing our leaders.

Of course, I agree our grandson is super. Don’t change him, please. And that same request is made for any candidate for president. Let him or her show their education, their beliefs, their integrity, their goals for themselves and the country. Don’t work them so hard in their campaigning that they are ready to collapse.

I don’t know the answer. But I do know that beautiful grandson has no intentions or desire to run for president. And I agree.

Isn’t it sad that I am expressing the feelings of most other parents?


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