By HAL BROWN
This week we learned that Anna Nicole Smith and George W. Bush had a common aspiration: to be remembered as an iconic American.
Anna Nicole wanted to be the next Marilyn Monroe.
George W. Bush wants to be remembered as equal to George Washington.
Marilyn and the father of our country were American originals.
Marilyn easily conveyed a blend innocent sexuality, vulnerability and humor that only a few movies stars like Sandra Bullock have been able to do.
George Washington was a general who took an ill equipped ragtag army and led them to defeat the world’s mightiest military power.
At the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 he planned to retire to a bucolic life on his lush Virginia plantation. But then in the late 1780s he saw the nation foundering under the original Articles of Confederation and returned to public life. He presided over the Constitutional Convention which gave us the document that has stood up to onslaughts to its principles until the current president’s partially successfull efforts at undermining it.
George Washington could have been king. Instead he choose to be the first president of the fledgling republic.
There is obviously a huge difference between being famous for being famous and being famous for being the most powerful person in the world.
Or is there?
(Hal Brown is a clinical social worker and former mental health center director who is mostly retired from his private psychotherapy practice. He writes on the psychopathology of public figures and other topics that pique his interest. He can be found online at www.stressline.com)