I have to admit, in the days following the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, I was depressed. Not that I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, far from it — I waffled between casting my vote for Gary Johnson or Zoltan Istvan — but because I had always maintained great reverence for the position. See, I grew up in a time when being president meant something. The cast of my politics was forged upon the momentous statesmanship of Ronald Reagan, and my formative years were spent with the disgrace Richard Nixon brought upon the presidency still fresh in everyone’s memory. To this day, I have a 1968 vintage Presidents of the United States book set from American Heritage on my shelf.
No, what troubled me most about the fact that the electorate would even consider someone like Donald Trump, a mere personality, worthy of the greatest office on earth, let alone allow them to hold it, was the insult. The sanctity of the presidency was abolished with Trump’s election. His entry into the White House can only mean that we either subscribe to his primitive ideology, collectively, or we’re living in an idiocracy.
So considering neither of these to be acceptable, I was understandably shaken. Until I realized a third option. That the United States no longer has need for a president.
Now this is not to say that we don’t need a head of state, someone to serve as our chief public representative to the United Nations and other sovereign states. We do — though in that context Donald Trump is even less fit for the job. What it means, rather, is that we have finally realized our true capacity for self-governance. We no longer have need for a central authority.
To be sure, even the staunchest supporter of Donald Trump wouldn’t dream of ceding him power over their personal finances, let alone give him control over their lives. Their message wasn’t that they confer upon him any real confidence or defer to his judgement in any way. That wasn’t what they were trying to say in voting for him. No, the message America sent on Election Day 2016 was that they have no need for Washington D.C. whatsoever.
Personally, I am heartened by this realization, because, while being far from a globalist, I do see the world as a global community. Watching a clip on YouTube about the manned mission to Mars with my two young boys, I was emboldened by the knowledge that over a dozen countries are involved with the operation and maintenance of the International Space Station. With that level of cooperation in space, the likelihood of a terrestrial global military conflagration shrinks to near impossibility.
Indeed, it is only fitting that it was Hillary Clinton who placed the final nail in the presidential coffin, as it was her husband who cemented for Millennials an undermined confidence in the presidency in the first place. Nearly since birth, they have heard it disgraced, discredited, denounced, decried. The only holder of the office for whom they maintain any respect, Barack Obama, is more of a bro than an authority figure. He shares his playlists with them, Tweets, does interviews with Marc Maron and Vice. At least he can relate.
See the thing is, the generations of today don’t need a father figure telling them who they can date, or what they can spend their money on, or that they need to go to war anymore. Each generation since the Baby Boom has become more autonomous, more independent, more confident in their own capacity for self-determination. We don’t need a bunch of old white men, condescending coastal elites, or moneyed power brokers determining the future for us. We didn’t need Donald Trump, and we sure as hell don’t need Joe Biden.
In fact, we don’t need to be governed at all.
Don’t fret friends. We got this.