Donald Trump Doesn’t Want to Be President. Neither Does Bernie Sanders.

At first glance Donald Trump seems exactly like the kind of narcissistic, solipsistic, ego-maniacal gentleman who would love to be president. He certainly wants to be the most powerful and important person in the room, and he definitely wants the affirmation of the masses. President of the United States of America would look pretty good on his resume. But upon deeper examination it turns out that the job is actually a lot of work. It is not just a title, it is an all-consuming career. It would require a businessman to leave his business to someone else for 4-8 years, and I can’t see anything about the daily grind of the presidency that would appeal to an ADHD mogul like Mr. Trump. No, he doesn’t want to president. But then why is he running?

This is not a new theory. Everyone, from Jeb Bush to Glenn Beck, has considered the possibility that The Donald is actually trying to screw over the Republicans to ensure a Hillary Clinton victory in November, After all, he loves the Clintons. He gave them lots of money. They hang out together. What if this is all a big game, in which he gets the nomination and then drops out in October? Or doesn’t get the nomination and runs as a third party, splitting the conservative vote? If there is anyone in America best poised to ensure a Democratic victory this fall, it is Donald Trump.

Of course there is another theory that he likes the ego boost of the campaign, but never wanted to commit to the job at the end of it, so when he started getting ahead in the polls, he began to say and do the most offensive things possible, hoping for a massive flame-out. Instead, however, he underestimated the nastiness of the American people, and with every minority he insulted, every handicapped person he humiliated, and every woman he condescended to, his ratings only went higher. What would this guy have to do to become less popular?! When he said he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still be president, was this boasting, or a desperate plea for help? Let’s see who his VP is going to be, because when Trump quits after a few days in office, this is who our next president might be.

The third, and most terrifying theory is this. Trump wants power, but he does not want to lost control of his business portfolio, and he does not want to be trapped in the White House. So what is even better than being the president? Owning the president. Let’s say that Trump gets very close to the end of this campaign and is in the lead. Or let’s say that he finishes a close second. The way things are going, it will be one of those two scenarios. All it would take is one conversation for Trump to say to whoever the nominee would be, “Hey, I might drop out, and I might not run as a third party, and I might even endorse you and throw all my support behind you, and once you’re elected, you’re going to owe me a few favors.” This seems like a far-fetched conspiracy theory, and yet how far fetched is it really? In one beautiful move, Donald Trump now owns the president of the United States.

And then, on the other side of the coin, the same and yet totally different, you have Trump’s Dark Mirror, his Evil Twin, or maybe his Good Twin: Bernie Sanders. Bernie also does not want to be president, and this is the best reason ever to throw your support behind him. And why wouldn’t he want to be president? Why, the same reason Donald Trump doesn’t want to be president. That job sounds horrible!

Before he announced his candidacy last year, I remember reading an interview with Bernie in which he stated that, if things did not get better, if the message was not changing, if the Democrats were not going to hold strong on things like climate change and income inequality, then he would have no choice but to seek the presidency. Does that sound like someone who wants the job? No, that sounds like someone who is terrified of whoever else is going to get it. Bernie is running because, at least in his heart and mind, he has to. Honestly, he has been in Washington for three decades. He has never wanted to be president. He has never worked to build a coalition that would support him in this endeavor. This was not his end career goal. But Bernie is just as worried as we are about the way things are going in this country. About selfishness and greed bring corruption into politics, about arrogance and impunity damaging the water, the air, and the land of this planet we live on. Things are not going well for a heck of a lot of people, and there is no one to speak for them. Or at least, there wasn’t.

I am not anti-Hillary Clinton, but she reaaaaaaaaally wants to be President. Most of the people up there on your television want to be president very badly. Clinton’s campaign, like Obama’s before her, is about the person. Her campaign is about her. Why she would be best for this, that, and the other thing. Bernie’s campaign is about the issues. It is about the people. I honestly think that if he thought someone better was out there, who would tackle the problems that the majority of Americans are facing, he would step down and support that person. His campaign is a last-ditch effort to right some of the wrongs that capitalism has brought to our system of government. I don’t view Hillary as intrinsically corrupt, but I view her, as I view most politicians, at being very good at navigating a corrupt system.

There is a tradition in democracy, dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks, of the reluctant ruler, drawn from daily life to become a leader, who then returns to the fields after their time has been served. These are always the best kings, queens, presidents, etc. When Rome burns it is because a career politician from a long dynasty is in charge. We don’t need someone who loves the system, who is dependent on the system, whose whole family is intertwined in the system, to be in charge. We need a person who is ruling out of duty and obligation, and who can’t wait to get home when it is all over. Career politicians are a huge part of the problems in our system. And come November we may end up getting to choose between two people that don’t really want the job. Kind of exciting, isn’t it?

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