Field of Science

Why not a gardening president?

Wouldn't it be refreshing if we had a candidate for president (chancellor, prime minister, dog catcher) who declared their interest in plants and gardening? This would indicate many good qualities of the sort that some of us seek in our elected leaders. They'd understand about work. They'd be pragmatic about things like weather that are largely beyond our control. They'd understand that you often plant things, like trees, and do things for their long-term outcomes rather than just planting annuals for their immediate but short-term effect. They might understand that you really do reap what you sow. They need to understand that getting down on your knees to weed, rather than pray, actually accomplishes something. Perhaps they would understand that pruning is necessary, but it must be done deliberately and carefully rather than just hacking away. They would understand the true nature of anticipation and hope in a way that only farmers and gardeners truly grasp. How refreshing if would be to have a president who says economic indicators are up and it looks like I'm going to get some nice tomatoes. This is the sort of values and character traits people really need in public office rather than the legal weasel attitude. Oh, no! Just realized this sounds like Chauncey Gardener, whose simplistic garden utterances were mistaken for profound insights! Well, that might not be so bad given the alternatives.


Unknown said...

My favorite author is Wendell Berry, and the way he describes farming and gardening has always sounded more like a conversation and a romance than the way I see most farming done today. I think a president like that would be patient, with respect for what you can't control, a better sense of value, a longer sense of time.

Jenn said...

Hells, I'd take any hobby. Dog competitions (obedience, agility), gardening, underwater basket-weaving, macrame... anything that would give them a little dimension.

That would be nice.