I’m Glad Donald Trump is President. Sort of.
I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, I don’t agree with most of the things he says, does, or believes in. In fact, this isn’t about politics at all.
Recently, I started listening to a podcast called Pod Save the People hosted by DeRay Mckesson, a civil rights activist. On the show, he discusses a huge variety of issues around race, policy, and current events with Sam Sinyangwe, and Brittany Packnett.
I’ve been particularly interested in Sam, who is only two years older than me, a Stanford grad, and is known for the way he leverages data in policy discussion, something you don’t see enough of. Sam is particularly interested in data surrounding police violence, having been one of the co-founders of Campaign Zero along with DeRay and Brittany, to tackle police reform.
At the time, I was only following DeRay on twitter, and I came across this tweet that made me realize I don’t know much about Sam.
And being the business student nerd that I am, I didn’t take to twitter to learn about him. I, instead, turned to LinkedIn. And since Sam is a young leader in civil rights, and a Stanford grad, and a whole bunch of other things, he’s associated with some pretty impressive people. The “people also viewed” section next to his profile is a hodge podge of the future (and current) leaders of America. Sam is one of many who are going to make the world a better place.
As I started to click through these profiles, I started thinking about prestige, success, aspiration. I was looking at high-profile consultants, directors of governmental departments, leaders of NGOs and non-profits, and finally I stumbled upon former White House aids.
The dramatic shift in my thinking came, because as I was going through, I kept thinking “man, I’d love to work for Amnesty International. Man, Google, council of economics, local governments, Forbes 30 under 30, I wish I could be all these things” etc. And then I came across “White House [insert title here].” And I stopped. “Mm…”
The ultimate aspiration for every kid with high hopes and a big dream was to become the President of the United States. As you consider the office now, you think ‘well, I guess anybody could do that.’ And that’s true. Anybody can do just about anything. Feel empowered. Feel strong. But also feel wary. Because that’s not always a good thing.
I saw one silver lining in who the new President is. People don’t have to look at the office of the President and think “I could never do that.” Just because you don’t have an Ivy-league education, or worked at the fanciest consulting firm, or have the most money, don’t be afraid to be driven.
In fact, every functional, rational person should be able to look at our President and think “I could do a better job than he’s doing.” Because, it turns out, just about anyone else could.