The candidates of this Presidential election cycle have covered the full range of individual net worth. Of those that remain in the race, Bernie Sanders' net worth of about $700,000 pales in comparison to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, whose net worth is about $45 million. Clinton's worth only pales in comparison to that of Donald Trump's estimated $4.5 billion, including his customized Boeing 757 and helicopter.
While their political ideologies range from being as far right as wanting to halt the flow of Muslim migrant immigrants, based on security concerns, to as far left as wanting to initiate socialist programs, including free college tuition and single-payer healthcare for all. Rich or poor, liberal or conservative, love them or hate them, however you want to describe them, they each have one thing clearly in common: they all want to be in the White House!
And how about that house. According to real estate website Zillow, the White House has 55,000 square feet of space, 16 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, and a total of 132 rooms. The house is set on 18 acres and is worth $381 million. The modest Zillow description mentions a "security system" but fails to mention that it also comes with a cadre of well-armed Secret Service agents and vehicles.
But contrary to the Zillow listing which states that the house is "Off Market", the house is very much on the market and has various suitors desperately vying to live there. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders are pleading for your vote -- and get into the White House. The Presidency even comes with a $3 billion allotment for two new aircraft representing an updated "Air Force One" pair of jets. At $1.5 billion per plane, it's going to be quite a new ride, not to mention the ability to fly at almost the speed of sound.
Perhaps the candidates are genuinely motivated by the opportunity to improve this great country, correct what they perceive as the failings of past Presidents, or are even just motivated by the sheer notoriety, prestige, and power which comes with being President of the United States. No doubt each plays a role in their thinking. But exactly how much "ego" vs. "desire for public service" plays into their thinking, we will never know.
Regardless of one's background, whether or not you are part of an American political or economic dynasty and pedigree such as Clinton, Kennedy, Bush, or Trump -- with the right ideology and timing, you can take your shot at however you define success -- either at political, economic, or social endeavors.
It will be the responsibility of our next President to maintain the social and economic fabric of the United States. Clearly we need robust social programs and safety nets, and we need to fund them extraordinarily well. A nation that cannot take care of its own is a weak nation, or one without a strong moral compass. It's the moral responsibility of the strong, those who have economic strength, to protect and shelter the weak, as well as care for the veterans who've secured our freedoms.
Whichever candidate we elect in November, they need to strengthen this great country, and not change it so much so that we don't even recognize it.