The King travelled through upstate New York this week.
If you witnessed up close any of the President's arrivals and departures you might be forgiven for thinking this. You would have seen hundreds of advance guys. They button-holed people. They pored over the backgrounds of thousands.
They staked out the buildings. They secreted themselves in sniper positions. They electronically scanned the sites for bugs and cameras and weapons. They hid themselves among the crowds.
Then came the more visible entourage. In buses and limos, and limos, and mini-limos. And more limos. And police cars and vans and motorcycles and armored vehicles of all sorts. We had sirens and flashing lights and helicopters.
The President's entourage numbers thousands. A swarm of thousands. From food tasters to nuclear-button suitcase carriers. From hairdressers to makeup gals. From wardrobe people to car-polishers. The parade is longer than when Ringling Brothers used to roll into town, clowns, jugglers, lions and elephants in tow.
Then there is the army of hangers-on. All the local pols who glom on to the parade. So they can bask in the regal aura. They thirst to be seen with the President. And don't forget the regiments of speech doctors and political hacks and teleprompter guys who surround the president whenever he walks around the block. His assorted handlers.
This is not President Obama's creation. But with every new president the numbers grow. And I am simply wondering if all this is necessary. When any of our presidents travel, they take a city with them.
I can understand the security concerns. But what are all these other warm bodies doing? Is all of this costly stuff necessary?
The nuclear suitcase, for instance. And all the hush-hush hoopla that goes with it. Question: Who on this earth are we going to launch a missile at? Who on this earth is remotely likely to launch one at us? With the cold war gone, who is left? Some goombahs from Yemen, armed with Stinger missiles. When they let off a devastating weapon in a Walmart in Cleveland, what will we do? "Here, Mr. President. Press this button and we bomb Yemen. And it is vitally important, sir, that we do this from Syracuse University." C'monnn.
As for the countless important people who accompany the Prez, don't they have cell phones? If his royal-ship needed their input, couldn't they Tweet each other?
The media guys sometimes outnumber the audiences. For why? How many cameras do they need to record the President walking to a podium and locking onto his teleprompter?
I could go on. But you get the idea. It costs this country a million bucks when our Presidents stroll across a street and eat a hot dog. Because we have come to treat Presidents as if they are royalty. Or maybe gods.
In a sense, we have elevated the position above both. Budgets for genuine royalty have been trimmed in the few countries that host them. And God gets ignored in many places. In fact, if God put in an appearance upstate, he probably could not afford a 100-car motorcade. Or the food tasters. Or the teleprompter crew.
From Tom...as in Morgan.