- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1108
- Category: President
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The President of the United States is under constant scrutiny. The presidency is unique because the office consists of a single person. Unlike the other branches of government, where individual accountability is practically non existent, the President offers up one person to focus on, one person accountable, one person with arguably much power. In order to properly measure the scope of presidential responsibility and performance, the office should be analyzed with skepticism. Views can not be clouded with notions of greatness or inherent goodness.
The presidency has proved time and time again that its nature is general deceit. Presidents executes their own agenda, interpreting the vague Constitutional powers to their best interest. Presidential scholars, unable to see through their haze, glorify presidents. Presidential short comings are attributed to outside forces out of presidential control. Bureaucracy is to blame, according to presidential scholars, for many failures of the President. Rose’s view of the presidency strongly adheres to the school of presidential admiration, in his claims of exaggerated presidential weakness.
According to Rose, if the presidential budget is not fully accepted it hinders presidential power. The truth is that most presidential budgets are passed give or take a small percent. The problem with viewing the presidency as inherently good is failure to realize the true nature of presidential actions. Having a pessimistic outlook on the presidency ignites further scrutiny into presidential decisions. If the presidency is looked at as inherently deceitful, unwholesome and unhealthy, people would be less likely deceived by taking everything the President says at face value.
Presidents have continually lied to the American people about why certain presidential decisions are made. Bill Clinton ran on a platform of national health care. The American people were disillusioned in thinking true actions were being taken on the part of the President to make this hope possible. In reality, Bill Clinton never planned on providing a plan for national healthcare. His proposed plan was unconscionable and he vetoed a plan proven successful in other countries. He vetoed the plan because it failed to include insurance companies that were also his campaign contributors.
Presidents should not automatically gain reverence; they must earn it though implementation of a progressive agenda. Too often people are mesmerized by the illusions of impending progress, and fail to hold Presidents accountable for lack of implementation, or plan of execution. John F. Kennedy is one of the most admired presidents, yet he lacked a plan of action. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” was unable to offer solutions for many problems affecting the nation, such as the civil rights movement. A cynical view of the presidency allows for questioning of rhetoric.
Presidential scholars highly regard the presidency because it is occupied by a single elected official who is the only person elected by a national electorate. Although the President is elected by a national electorate, the Electoral College does not guarantee that the presidency is occupied by a true representative of the people. Presidential veneration should be questioned due to low voter turn out, decline of political parties, lack of voting reform, and corrupt voting practices. The presidency can be occupied by a person who is not the nation’s popular choice.
George W. Bush is occupying the presidency although he did not win the popular vote, and due to very obvious voting corruption in Florida, where his brother is governor. The presidency should not be held up to be a dutiful office working for the good of the people. Each President has an agenda whether it is personal or professional. John F. Kennedy was obsessed with courage and wanted to leave a legacy. He wanted to be remembered as a great leader. Throughout history great leaders arose through crisis. The Constitution allows for increased presidential powers only in times of crisis, as pointed out by Neustadt.
If Presidents are unable to gain power by other means like persuasion or reputation, they will do so by crisis. Establishing a crisis may bestow greatness to a presidential term, but it can deceive the people. In a time of no apparent crisis, Kennedy’s ambition of heroism created one. The “hour of maximum danger” became Kennedy’s crisis. The Soviet challenge ensured that the American people were on board for Kennedy’s agenda, believing that the fate of the nation was at stake. The fate of the nation is at stake once again because George W. Bush knew that crisis afforded him presidential power.
He has put the nation into a crisis of terrorism in order to implement his military agenda. He has systematically created an on going crisis at the expense of the American public. Crisis has shifted scrutiny away from presidential failures such as the large budget deficit and placed it far away in Iraq. The American people fail to see the harm that is being done by this crisis. The National Terror Alert System instills daily fear among the nation of impending dome. Citizenship is threatened just by being an American and practicing your freedom of speech.
Yet, Americans watch the President with bright eyes as if he is a hero in a time of havoc. In the times of crisis is when the President should be most under scrutiny because that is when decisive immediate action can be taken, and motives should be questioned. The President has national mandate to take action on the problems confronting the nation, presidential scholars identify this as a positive power. The idea that one person has the capacity to take decisive actions that will affect the entire nation is not positive. Since each president has their own agenda, skepticism of his decisions is crucial.
George W. Bush, due to his commander-in-chief powers, waged war against Iraq despite obvious protest not only in America but though out the world. It is not positive when one man, one agenda, one decision can affect millions. It is difficult to view the presidency as anything but deceitful and unwholesome. George W. Bush’s motives should be strongly questioned in this time of supposed crisis. Americans are fed ever changing reasons for war with Iraq, terrorism, hidden weapons of mass destruction, liberation of the Iraqi people.
All the while there is no mention what so ever about that little word, oil. The presidents motives should be question on the millions of leaflets passed out about not destroying the oil, yet leaving out proper conduct so praised by a democratic civilized nation. Museums and national treasures would not be allowed to be looted if covered with oil. Presidents are in a unique position having the power to affect many people. Because presidential decisions ultimately rest upon one person, those decisions are rightfully scrutinized. Deceitful actions can be contained if the president is held accountable.