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There was a time when the aspirations parents had for their children were narrowed down to two choices.

A daughter could do no better than to marry a doctor. If you gave birth to a son, the ultimate goal for him was to grow up to become president of the United States.Not anymore. Malpractice suits could tie your daughter's community assets up in court for the rest of her life, and the theme song for this year's election is "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Presidents."

It is fast coming to the point where I don't want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job. First, there is no security. A president can look forward to four to eight years' employment - tops. Then what does he do? Write his memoirs? Play a little golf? Build houses? Visit his library?

The job of running doesn't teach the candidates anything about life. They hang around the house (in a married or celibate state) until they're 35 years old. Then they try to raise $8 million from strangers to tell who they are to people who want to know who they were. They do this by flashing their pictures on television and displaying photos on every telephone post and in every store window. It's reminiscent of the 500 friendship pictures my son ordered in high school. He should have told me he had only three friends. I'm still using them for tips and coasters.

The presidency is a job without dignity. Candidates beg for bucks, kiss babies and fannies, and hang out with people they wouldn't sit next to on a crowded bus. They wear funny hats and act like they're enjoying weird food their mothers could not pay them to eat.

But the worst part is that in some jobs you can please some of the people most of the time and most of the people some of the time, but as president, you can't please any of the people any of the time. If you're humble, you're a wimp; assertive, you're strident; compassionate, you're weak; polite, you're dead in the water.

The presidency is a dead-end job with no chance for advancement. Why five men would stomp around the country, working 18 hours a day, to try to get the attention of voters who vow to write in Pee-wee Herman on Election Day is beyond me.

Personally, I'd advise my daughter to become a rock star and my son to become a second baseman for the Chicago Cubs. So, they shouldn't die poor.