President : humble, meager, pathetic.

"I want to take you back to the United States of America just after they'd achieved independence." This, from writer Mark Forsyth, when he shared his findings on the origin and radical change of the post powerful title in the world: President.  

{Early American leaders} had to face the question of what to call George Washington, their leader. They didn't know. What do you call the leader of a Republican country? Some people wanted him to be called Chief Magistrate Washington, and other people, His Highness George Washington, and other people, Protector of the Liberties of the People of the United States of America Washington. Not that catchy. And everybody got insanely bored, actually, 'cause this debate went on for three weeks . . . And the reason for the delay and the boredom was that the House of Representatives were against the Senate. The House of Representatives didn't want Washington to get drunk on power. They didn't want to call him King in case that gave him ideas, or his successor ideas. So, they wanted to give him the humblest, meagerest(ph), most pathetic title that they could think of. And that title was president. President. They didn't invent the title. I mean, it existed before, but it just meant somebody who presides over a meeting. It was like the foreman of the jury. And it didn't have much more grandeur than the term foreman or overseer. There were occasional presidents of little colonial councils and bits of government, but it was really a nothing title. And that's why the Senate objected to it. They said, that's ridiculous, you can't call him president. This guy has to go and sign treaties and meet foreign dignitaries. And who's going to take him seriously if he's got a silly little title like President of the United States of America? (via)

The House of Representatives wanted their president to be humble and meager, they wanted his title to be a constant reminder that his (or future her) position didn't demand power, but the responsibility to serve. 

The fact that the word President now carries with it so much power and respect points to the integrity of these men who allowed the course of their actions to be guided by something greater than themselves: the people. In doing so, they brought power to the position, not the other way around. 

The House of Representatives didn't want Washington to get drunk on power and the Senate thought it ridiculous to call the leader of the free world President. Because who would take him seriously?

Over time, everyone.

Around the world, there are now a hundred and forty-seven nations whose leaders carry the title of president. 

(Click to enlarge)

Trey Gowdy seems to have a similar viewpoint. Now, if you are a staunch, please look past the smug look and hear his words - they're brilliant. And if you're a critical thinker, please look beyond the source of this interview - Fox News - and listen to Gowdy's thoughts on public service - they're brilliant! (ps. You can stop watching at 4:37 . . . I'm not responsible for anything after that)


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