10 August 2012

A non-messianic presidency

Do Americans expect too much of the president of the United States, and do presidential candidates themselves unwisely encourage such unrealistic expectations in voters?

Back in 1787, when the American founders fashioned their constitutional document for a new federal republic, they began with a discussion of legislative power in Article I, moving on to executive power only in Article II. Why? Because the Congress of the United States was intended to be the preeminent body representing the interests of the people and of the several states, each of which was still jealous of its own autonomy in the new system. When Article I, section 8 sets forth the enumerated powers of the federal government (the remainder being reserved for the states by the Tenth Amendment), the expression, “Congress of the United States,” is for all practical purposes synonymous with the federal government as a whole.

Read more here.

1 comment:

rgrydns said...

Just listening to Mitt Romney introduce his VP running mate...

I don't disagree with you that the American president is presented as a sort of messiah. I wonder, though, if we haven't witnessed in the last number of decades the transformation of the presidency into a consumer product. Not that there is any real, tangible consumable in a presidential campaign; but it does seem to me that if you substituted the president nominee out for a bottle of shampoo or AXE bodywash, the form of the campaign would stay the same, and only a few of the accidental markers identifying exactly what is being sold would have to change. It's difficult to watch a commercial advertisement for some soapy or scented product and not think that the Second Coming is upon us.

And that raises a few questions: If we tolerate such nonsense from commercial manufacturers, don't we also have to tolerate our politicians? Perhaps if we don't want to tolerate from our politicians, we have to take a long, hard look at the sort of thing commercial manufacturers are allowed to say about their products? Or maybe, just maybe, everyone needs a good education in modal diversity a la Herman Dooyeweerd? Even so...that still doesn't address whether it is right or wrong for commercial manufacturers to inflate the image of their products beyond all human proportions.


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Contact at: dtkoyzis at gmail dot com