Governor Palin’s relentless promotion of the idea that literally anybody can run this country got me thinking, but it was Senator McCain’s leveling plan to rescue the economy by spending my money bailing out those who weren’t savvy enough to avoid buying houses that they couldn’t afford (in some ways these Republicans are too liberal for me) that called to mind where we had read this story before (opens in new window).
All men and women are created equal before the law. But “all men are created equal” is not the literal truth. There are people who are smarter than other people; there are people who are better looking than other people; there are people who are stronger and quicker than other people. We all have our gifts — creativity, grace, musical ability, kindheartedness, whatever. The only way we can all be rendered equal is by suppressing everyone’s gifts.
Just as we say that all men are created equal, we tell our children that in America anyone can be president. But the only way Jo Sixpack can become president is by suppressing the gifts of every more talented candidate. So “anyone can be president” is not the literal truth. Nor should it be.