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Ten-Year-Old Me For President

Meanwhile, my latest column at The Week [1] is a bit on the lighter side. It’s a trip down memory lane to my ten-year-old self:

“As for campaigning, people don’t want promises. They want action.” — Noah Millman, age 10

This past Sunday, on a visit for brunch, my mother brought me a time machine in the form of an old valise. Inside was a treasure trove of documents from my childhood: photos, drawings, report cards, clippings, programs from the local drama club’s productions. And, unsurprisingly for a budding writer, a wide array of written material.

I was particularly struck by one piece, written in November 1980 as part of a school assignment, describing my program should I be elected president of the United States. It began with the line quoted above.

I don’t recall the details of the assignment, but I can imagine what prompted it. The 1980 election loomed large in all of our consciousnesses, including us kids. After all, we’d sat on the gas lines with our parents. We’d watched the drama of the Iranian hostage crisis play out on the television every night. And we all still remembered the 1977 blackout. We knew the country had serious problems. As I detailed them in my essay:

The basic problems today are: inflation, crime, energy, transit in the cities, the hostages, war, etc.

The list is different from one we’d make today — though we’re still worried about falling behind economically, about the poor job we’re doing preventing the country’s infrastructure from crumbling [2], and we’re still panicked about a hostile regime in Iran.

But what I was struck by most was the . . . familiarity of some of the language I used when I talked about how to tackle these problems. You might almost call it my blueprint for making American great again.

Check the whole thing out there [1].

2 Comments (Open | Close)

2 Comments To "Ten-Year-Old Me For President"

#1 Comment By William Dalton On February 14, 2017 @ 11:14 pm

To be fair to President Trump, I don’t think he really wanted the job, either. He just got tired of seeing incompetents fill it. And the information revealed in your other column shows he wasn’t wrong. Even now the Washington establishment if enslaved to its own self-serving notions of what constitutes America’s security interests.

But what your ten-year old self does reveal is how Trump got elected – not that he thinks like a ten-year old, but that he knows how to communicate to an American electorate, the majority of which still struggle to compete with the contestants on a show like, “Are You as Smart as a Fifth Grader?”

#2 Comment By icarusr On February 15, 2017 @ 3:21 am

Ah – this morning I woke up to this headline: “Goldman buoyed by prospect of Trump government administering profit-boosting policy mix”. All those Trump supporters worried about HRC’s wall street ties, all those Trump promises … and we see the actions.

And all those Trump supporters worried about endless war, and listening to Trump promises … and we see the actions.

And all those Trump supporters rending shirts over those emails, and listening to Trump promise to “lock her up” over alleged security breaches … and we see Mar-a-Lago security briefings – and Flynn’s Russian briefings – and God knows what else … yes, we see the actions.

Thanks for the morning chuckle to leaven the morning sickness.