“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Boys Grow Up to Be
“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
‘Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone.
Even with someone they love.
Now, of course, you’d hasten to add, “don’t let your daughters grow up to be members of Congress, either.”
Unfortunately, both statements are true.
Commenting on a generation of Congressional gridlock and hyper-partisanship, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd suggested that Millennials interested in earning their political, ummm . . . spurs today should avoid Congress, and instead work for (and eventually become) mayors (Todd was in town yesterday to speak at a community event).
Fiddling While Rome Burns
While Congress postures and bloviates, it is the nation’s mayors who are cutting their teeth on today’s critical political issues (containing housing, medical, and pension costs; managing immigration; delivering quality public education; and safeguarding community safety), all the while making sure that the garbage gets collected, the fire department gets paid, taxes assessed and collected, etc.
You know, actually running things.
Todd further speculated that Millennials coming of age now are experiencing the political equivalent of The Great Depression: a formative event — indeed, a trial — that may actually lay the foundation for future achievement and success, and forge a new class of political leaders.
The hard part will be getting there.
Mayor’s Office as Stepping Stone
Do mayors make good (or even great) Presidents?
Based on a very small sample — Grover Cleveland (Buffalo) and Calvin Coolidge (Boston) — the answer is “no,” alas.
But, it can still be a political springboard — or a way to revive a flagging career: witness Jerry Brown’s success as Oakland mayor paving the way (back) to the California Governor’s mansion (does he live there this time?).
Of course, Minnesota native son (South Dakota, actually) Hubert Humphrey first rose to national prominence as Mayor of Minneapolis.