Yes I Can!

It’s official! I am running for President.

Not because I want to be President, mind you. In fact, given the current state of the country, I think I’d rather have a job cleaning Porta Potties at AT&T Park. And not because I have any great ideas about how to fix things (luckily, given some of the current presidential candidates, that doesn’t seem to be a requirement).

No, I’m running just because I can. Yes, I can! I am over 35 (it’s none of your business how many years over 35). And I am a natural-born citizen, born in a hospital in Griffin, Georgia (no exotic, mysterious origins for me. I’d happily hand over my birth certificate, although I guess that would probably give away that whole how many years over 35 thing). And according to the Constitution, those are the only requirements, other than having been a resident of the United States for fourteen years. Woo-hoo! I’ve never lived anywhere else. See how qualified I am!

So I’m running because, other than running for president, there aren’t many advantages to being over 35. What else do I have to look forward to, birthday-wise? The arrival of my Modern Maturity magazine? Appearing on the Today show when I’m 100?

You don’t have to vote for me. In fact, I’d rather you didn’t (see paragraph two). But I do have some good qualities. I’ve never taken money from any major corporation or lobbying group. Not that they’ve offered me any, but still… Plus, I have absolutely no political experience (unless you count my position on the PTO board of my son’s school, but this is my first year doing that). So I am definitely not a career politician.

I am a mother of two children, which means I’m used to hearing demands and complaints all day long, and dealing with constant bickering. I even have a two year-old, who can be as intractable and unreasonable as any Congressman, but I still manage to get her in and out of her car seat several times a day. I do my best to try to meet the needs of both my kids, and listen to their concerns and requests, without giving in on anything that would compromise their health or well-being. I make sure they have enough to eat, and a good education, and I take care of them when they’re sick. My seven year-old has to do his homework every day, and feed the cat, and do other odd jobs I need help with. He doesn’t get any special privileges just because he, say, made me a picture frame in school last week.

Since I can’t count on any endorsements from the current political parties, I’m creating my own. I’m calling it the Cocktail Party, because after a couple of drinks, a lot of our problems will at least seem a little less dire, and everyone will be a lot more relaxed and friendly (no angry drunks allowed).

Let’s see…What’s my political platform? Hmmmmmm…. I’ll start with things I like. Roads, for instance. Big fan. Not a big fan of potholes, which I’ve been seeing a lot of lately out here in the Bay Area. Let’s do away with those. I love parks and natural spaces. I’m also a huge fan of libraries (okay, I’m a librarian, so I’m a little biased). Hospitals? I haven’t had to use those a lot, thank goodness, but they can come in handy. Same with fire departments and police.

And schools! If I were to be elected President, I would make sure we have the best-funded schools in the world. Because I am tired, so tired, of class-size increases and teacher lay-offs and cuts to the arts and PE. Let the banks and mortgage industry execs sell gift wrap and cookie dough when they screw up. All my bailout money is going to the schools.

If I were President, teachers and principals would all be paid like CEOs, and there would never be more than 15 kids in a class. I’d hire John Williams to lead school band programs, and Stephen Hawking to guest lecture in physics, and Jane Goodall to help us understand teenagers by living amongst them. I haven’t a hope (or desire) of being President, so I can dream big. And what I dream of is a country I can be proud of again, where we have the best schools and the best teachers and the best opportunities for absolutely everyone.

So there you go. That’s my platform. Please don’t vote for me. But I’m running. Just so that when I get my spot on the Today show someday, and they ask me what I remember about my 100 years on earth, I can say that I ran for President way back in 2012.