Our 50th President

teenage presidentAs the United States of America prepares to inaugurate Donald Trump as its 45th President, I direct my thoughts toward the young man or woman who will become the nation’s 50th President. That person is possibly an American teen who wasn’t old enough to cast a vote in last November’s contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. That President-elect will take the oath of office in a far different world than that we see today. Different? How so?

A cursory review of relevant history would help gain a prescient perspective of that future president’s world. Let’s begin with the 30th President of the United States, visit the 40th, and briefly imagine the 50th President’s life.

calvin-coolidgeCALVIN COOLIDGE
30th President (1923)
When Coolidge was born in 1872, former Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States, and future President Teddy Roosevelt had just begun his teenage years. There were no telephones, phonographs, radios, or automobiles. When Coolidge became a teenager there was no Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty was under construction, and the American Indian Wars continued. While Coolidge served as the U.S. President, future President Ronald Reagan was serving as a teenage lifeguard in Dixon, Illinois.

 

ronald-reaganRONALD REAGAN
40th President (1981)
Ronald Reagan was born into a world without television, penicillin, or quartz timepieces. Photocopiers, helicopters, and Teflon were still decades away. Air conditioning and refrigerators didn’t appear until his late teens, and the invention of ballpoint pens occurred when Reagan was in his twenties. This President witnessed Neil Armstrong walk on the moon more than ten years before he became President. More than a year after Reagan assumed the presidency Time magazine named “The Computer” Machine of the Year. The venerable Macintosh Plus was released almost exactly five years after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office on January 20, 1981.

 

unknown-personUNKNOWN
50th President (approx. 2039)
Our 50th leader in the Executive Branch could be the first President born in the 21st century. His or her mother may have been pregnant in 2001 when Wikipedia launched and on September 11th when the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed onto the streets of New York. On the other hand, this President could have been born on the day John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan.

While in the first grade, “Dad” and “Mom” may have purchased Steve Job’s new Macintosh Plus or the touchscreen computer/phone, dubbed the “iPhone” by Apple Computer. Teen life may have involved debates with friends relating to the 1996 Republican Convention in San Diego or 2016 Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This President may very well own a fully electric self-driving car before graduating from college and a roll-up television temporarily affixed to the wall of his or her college dorm room. The future President will have, almost certainly, owned a personal robot designed to handle a myriad of domestic chores. Before assuming office, this President will probably witness humanity’s return to the moon and astronauts driving electric vehicles on the surface of Mars.

Donald Trump’s inauguration day will soon be a distant memory and the teenager sitting at your kitchen table could very well be the 50th President of the United States in a few short years. Anything is possible. Nurture your children. They are our future.

Steve…

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