Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Rock Hill, South Carolina January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane – RTX21LKR
My parents always told me to mind my 3 P’s. Of course, as any kid would do, I would laugh it off, and my dad would scold me to remind me there are three parts of your life you must attend to if you want to become a respectable citizen. This made me laugh even harder, because I wasn’t looking for respect, at least not when I was ten.
The P’s my dad was referring to were what he saw as the three areas of one’s life that any quality person must properly administer and foster. Those areas, he said, are the following:
The first ‘P’ stands for ‘Personal’ = What you do for yourself and those you love
The second ‘P’ stands for ‘Professional’ = What you do to provide for yourself and those you love
The third ‘P’ stands for ‘Political’ = What you do to influence those in your community in a positive way
I look back now, and I realize perhaps my dad had a pearl of wisdom I would have done well to better understand. But if my dad were alive today, he would probably be the first to point out that, at least superficially, Donald Trump has beat me in every one of the 3 P’s.
For example, I haven’t been married and don’t have children, so it may be hard for me to claim that I have taken great care of those I love. Yes, I have always been a generous guy, the one who always picked up the check at the bar or restaurant when I was able to do so, but I don’t have the financial resources of Trump, so on that count, I would likely take a back seat.
Further, while I have always been successful in whatever endeavor I have chosen to pursue, I again can’t claim that I own a skyscraper on Fifth Avenue (although I have always wanted to), and my name is not plastered on an infinite number of structures around the world.
When it comes to politics, perhaps I have a bit more leeway. I have always wanted to run for political office, even for president. My dad would definitely have claimed responsibility for that impulse. He wrote letters (back when that was how you would contact Congress), more often than anyone would. When he died, he left me binders full of letters he wrote to every politician imaginable, and their responses (when they did respond).
The bottom line here, is that while I believe strongly in the 3 P’s, I also feel they need a bit of an adjustment, when it comes to the goal my father always said was behind them.
Perhaps we need to forget about whatever letter a word we think we should use to describe ourselves starts with,m and just ask this: Do we want a man who stands for nothing to be our president?