A new idea for President

Samantha Durham, Opinion Editor

Editor’s Note: Samantha Durham is a senior at UNCW studying sociology. She is the Opinion Editor for The Seahawk and enjoys concentrating her work on social issues. All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Samantha may be found on Twitter @Durham_Sam. All suggestions and inquiries may be sent via email to sld9240@uncw.edu.

Remember when you went through elementary school and everyone encouraged you to be anything you wanted to be? Remember when you felt down how your parents and family boosted your spirits by reminding you that your dreams are within reach?

Those were experiences I remember growing up and while all of you might not share those same memories I am sure you are familiar with the ideas.  At eight years old, anyone could become President of the United States. I am not sure what child at a young age does not daydream about what it might be like to run a country. Obviously, most children have no capacity for foreign policy, health care or tax reform but never the less the idea can run wild.

Some of us grow up and abandon our “dream” of running the country from the Oval Office. We move on to more “practical” career choices such as working in law enforcement, teaching or medicine. However, there are always the few that keep the dream alive. For those people, when mom and dad said “you can be anything you want, even the President” they took it and held on to it.

That dream does not seem so farfetched these days. Donald Trump is the current leader of the country and many other non-political figures have announced their interest in sitting in the Oval Office. It is an interesting time we live in and while non-political figures being President is not unheard of it certainly has not been seen like this.

The Golden Globes were held recently and all were abuzz about Oprah Winfrey and her speech. Celebrities brought out the black to support those who have faced sexual assault and show solidarity towards the issue. Winfrey spoke to the crowd after winning the Cecil B. DeMille award and I was awestruck. Winfrey honored those women with such strength and dignity, yet it sparked conversation about a potential presidential run in 2020.

The dream of a presidential seat has become so much different than I grew up knowing it as. When Trump announced he was throwing his hat in the ring I chuckled, not because of him as a person per say but more so at the fact that he did not represent to me what a President is. Obviously now that is a different story but never the less I struggled to imagine anyone other than a politician becoming President.

CNN’s article on Winfrey’s potential candidacy brought up an interesting point, would the American people really elect another celebrity into office after Trump’s presidency? While Winfrey has debunked a potential presidential run, according to CNN the rumor shows how the American idea of a President might not be what it once was.

Winfrey is not the only one who has been rumored to express interest in running for President. According to Business Insider, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kayne West have been rumored to run for office. Other rumors include Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg and even Katy Perry. While some of these rumors are just for a laugh, others could potentially hold some serious weight.

However, my question still remains if the American people would be willing to elect another celebrity for President? All in all, this question comes with a big question mark. President Trump may have made it into office due to his non-political background. For years, people have been begging for a leader that was not a career politician and once they received one the grass may not have been so green on the other side.

No doubt that something needs to change in American politics. Tensions have been rising on all fronts and whoever steps up to the plate will have their hands full. Does a celebrity of today potentially have what it takes to bridge gaps and make changes in a complicated political climate? It is certainly not impossible with the right experience, vision and demeanor.

This sheds light on a big change in politics and overall the way American’s view a President. No longer when we consider a presidential candidate will we just think of John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. The office of the President of the United States now seems to be open to anyone who can prove their merit to the American people and has the resources to do just that. Anyone really can become President with the right mindset. Is this for better or for worse?

Time will really be the only way to tell with this one. What time will also tell is how this new openness to becoming President will change the prestige associated with it. If anyone can become President with the right tools does it take away from the prestige of the office?

Given the changes in politics over the past year nothing is for certain. The only way to truly know what will happen is by waiting for the next presidential race. Even if a celebrity runs for office as Trump did, a politician might still win.

However, maybe America might still have their heart set on a citizen from outside the political sphere. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It appears that both sides of the coin have their pros but do these celebrities really have the experience needed to run a country? Do career politicians really have new ideas that can bring about change or is it just more of the same?

The United States has been searching for an all star and I am not quite convinced we have found that person yet. The public appears to be sick of the political mumbo jumbo and I seriously believe that is how Trump became President of the United States. It is not to say that his ideas were poor or that in theory it was a horrible idea but even after displaying unpresidential behavior on multiple occasions he still sits behind the desk. In the end, anyone but a politician would do.

Overall, what it is to be a President is not the same as it was before. The image is different than it was before. Maybe this is a good thing and will allow new people to enter the political world because they can see that it is not solely for a career politician. That would bring about new ideas and a new image to American politics as a whole.

We as citizens have to evaluate what image we want the world to see. If our President does not represent that then maybe it is time to look elsewhere.

Of rumored celebrity candidates for 2020, who do you think would be best?

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