Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief

Imagine a want ad for the position of U.S. President: Seeking a Daddy or Mommy to perform the duties of the president of the United States. Based on what we’re witnessing—the venomous, venal, and vehement aspirants presently hard balling shit at one another as well as past and current office holders—I have an image of the ad and its contents.

Compulsory qualifications:

Candidates will have a sense of entitlement, limitless arrogance, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, be manipulative, exploitative, and deceive both with impressive solemnity and while smiling.

Candidates must have a facility for pitting groups of people against each other.

Candidates must be able to glamorize war, rally the masses to believe war is necessary, rally the young to enlist in the military, promote nationalism, and jackboot countries to join war coalitions.

Candidates must be proficient in pandering to fear, using the words “terror” and “terrorism” at precisely the right moments and especially when a majority of people expresses war weariness.

Candidates will be Oscar-worthy thespians, emoting lines such as:

“He could have been my son.”

“She could’ve been my daughter.”

“He died serving his country in a noble cause.”

“She died serving her country in a noble cause.”

Candidates will have the ability to let slide a tear, feigning emotion, perhaps while looking forward to that afternoon’s golf game or a swim, going out to dinner with friends, walking the dog, sizing up (or down) a woman’s tits, or thinking about what country to explode next.

Candidates will quote scripture and never conclude a speech without a “God bless America.”

Candidates will be able to vilify the opposition as “divisive and dangerous” and “unmoored,” unqualified for the assignment. Will be able to say the competition wants to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. while he or she advocates actions that kill Muslims. Will be able to say he or she will build a wall against border entry despite supporting trade agreements that render impossible a man or woman’s capacity to provide basic needs for family in countries where that wall prevents opportunity.

Candidates can make promises and change his or her position before or after taking the oath of office.

Candidates must lack a conscience and disregard the moral or legal standards in the culture.

Candidates will be exemplary in guaranteeing that Americans are inured to injustice and place blame for inequality squarely on the Other.

Candidates will be able to cause chaos, destroy civilizations.

Candidates must be sociopaths.

Candidates must sit comfortably on a pedestal.

Applicants will sign a code: On my honor as Daddy in Chief or Mommy in Chief, I will accede to the Military- Industrial-Security-Propaganda Complex.

Position offers lucrative taxpayer-funded benefits and post-tenure perks, including speaking opportunities paying as much as $500,000 each and book deals.

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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