Ben Carson gave the shruggiest possible endorsement of Donald Trump during a press appearance Monday.
“I think he’s going to surround himself with really good people,” Carson said, “but even if he didn’t, we’re only looking at four years, as opposed to multiple generations and perhaps the loss of the American dream forever.”
It’s only four years, America! What’s the big deal?
New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo made an even better point on Twitter.
Exactly! But we can narrow it down further.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s American Time Use Survey published last year, Americans spend an average of 8.8 hours a day asleep. Meaning that we have only 15.2 hours a day to worry about President Trump — or, for that matter, President Hillary Clinton.
On top of that, we spend 5.3 hours a day engaged in “leisure and sports” — 2.82 hours of which is spent watching TV. Since there is a non-small chance that President Trump/Clinton will pop up while we’re watching television, let’s say we can feel confident in 4.5 hours a day of chill time in which we can ignore whoever the president is.
Of course, we spend most of our time during the week at work, writing articles about how little time the average American will have to spend paying attention to the next president. Spread over the seven-day week, the time we spend working amounts to 3.59 hours daily, but, of course, your mileage may vary. When you’re at work, you’re not worrying about the next or current president of the United States — unless, of course, your job is to write semi-serious blog posts about that person. So we can cut away another block of time during which we don’t have to worry about who is or isn’t president and what he or she is or isn’t doing.
Americans lucky/smart enough to have pets also spend 0.11 hours a day dealing with those pets. Take that out.
I mean, really, the only time most of us spend any time worrying about the government is when we’re eating and arguing about politics with our family members. Or when we’re socializing and arguing about politics with our friends. So that’s 0.71 hours a day socializing, 1.07 hours a day eating and 0.59 hours a day getting the food ready. Two and a third hours a day during which we’re going to worry about the government.
So instead of four years we need to worry about Trump/Clinton, we’re really talking about an average of 2.37 hours a day for 1,461 days. That’s like 144 days that Trump would be president, as far as we’re paying attention. A blink of the eye!
Of course, these numbers are slightly different for the president him- or herself. Trump, for example, often claims that he only sleeps three or four hours a night. But even then, he’s only really president for 1,217 days over the four years — like 40 months.
But, then, he also has to wait around for Congress to actually pass laws, and they work a full week 14 percent of the time.
It’ll all go quickly, is Carson’s point.