Friday, March 28, 2014

Why be POTU now?

I've often wondered why anyone would want to be President of the United States. It seems to me like a really shitty job. And so I basically start from the premise that anyone who wants to be POTUS1 is a power-hungry asshole.

But I'm really mystified why anyone would want to be President of Ukraine right now. The country is an economic basket case, with a paralyzed political system and serious debate whether it's hostile more powerful neighbor is about to invade and grab even more Ukrainian territory. If I were a power-hungry Ukrainian asshole, there are probably other jobs that have more actual power than Ukrainian president in the midst of an economic crisis, a domestic political crisis, and possible foreign invasion. (Like, for instance, rich oligarch. Sure, that's not a job that anyone can get, but not just anyone can be elected president of the nation. I suspect that the circles in a Venn diagram of possible Ukrainian presidents and possible rich oligarchs has a good degree of overlap.)

Besides, even if you wanted to be president of Ukraine, why now? The Ukrainian presidency might still be there when these crises are over (or it might not, but that's all the more reason not to want to be president now, when the future is this uncertain). Why not wait, do what you can to build your political base and see how this all shakes out?

1-I've never been a fan of those acronyms like POTUS, SCOTUS, FLOTUS, etc. But when I'm talking about power-hungry assholes, it somehow feels appropriate.