Friday, November 30, 2007

Why Don't Americans Get Rid of The Presidency?

Friends, nearly every time I turn on CNN I find news segments that concern the election of the next President of the United States in 2008.

There appear to be frantic wall-to-wall debates and discussions about this candidate and that from the Republican or Democrat Parties and excited gossip about which celebrity has endorsed which candidate and heated arguments about whether Obama will best Clinton or about whether Guiliani's past (wearing drag) will catch up with him, etc.

Given the dangerous fiasco that has been visited upon both America and the world by that feeble-minded megalomaniac George W Bush (which is not yet over), I would've thought that the major preoccupation of both the media and the American public should be discussing how to get rid of the office of the President rather than potentially electing yet another fool.

Australians have just had a bad experience with John Howard. But at least he wasn't running around the world threatening to use nukes or invading and occupying other countries (although he did help George to do so in a minor way). And, deservedly, both he and his government were thrown out on their butts last Saturday. But in America, the President can control or ignore the elected government!

Surely giving one man so much power is like playing with a loaded gun. And everyone with half a brain knows and accepts that power corrupts and too much power corrupts absolutely. And everyone in America knows from recent experience that even when they elected a Democrat majority in the Congress and the Senate, their Republican President ignored their clear message of disapproval about Iraq and other things and continued on his merry despotic way.

Surely it's time for Americans to look closely at their Constitution and ask themselves the following questions:
- is our Constitution still valid in the year 2007?
- Do we really need a Presidential bureaucracy that sits on top of the elected Government?
- Do we need to run the risk that the next President might actually be worse than George W Bush?
- Do we really need a President at all?

Speaking as an Australian, I for one would be very glad if America didn't have an all-powerful President.

In fact it would be far better for the entire world if America had no President at all!

Photo Link.


Lucyp said...

That really is a scary picture, very unsettling.
I don't have a problem with an elected President in the USA, just a problem with the one they have at the moment.

Daniel said...

The dangers of a Republic are exemplified in America, Lucy. That's why I hope Australia never becomes a Republic.

If it does, then the Presidential function should be restricted to ceremonial duties only.

North Jnr said...

"Surely giving one man so much power is like playing with a loaded gun."

Daniel, I agree. Except of course the president of the United states is not given so much power. Power is not given. Power is taken. There have been successive governments left and right who have undermined the constitutional checks and balances that prevent the office of the president acting independently of the house of representatives.

However, America is a democracy and when it does go too far they send them packing. Democracies also have huge bureaucracies to filter out presidential instruction to the point where it becomes meaningless.
Inefficiency is the saving grace of any democracy.

Of all the systems available, it's the least worst.

Daniel said...

An interesting position, North. I haven't really noticed that Bush's presidential instructions are meaningless. He seems to be running the show both to me and most other Americans.

Thanks for your comment on the Palestinians. You did try to include a tiny criticism of Israel. If you keep this up eventually you might end up with a balanced view! Cheers.

Nancy said...

The President is not supposed to have unrestricted authority. The President is part of a tripartite government system comprised of the Congress and Senate, and Supreme Court. Unfortunately we have a perfect storm with a supine Congress and a paid and packed Supreme Court that allows the President to do pretty much what he damn wants to. Sort of like a king, really. Bush is the worst offender but other Presidents have weakened Congress and the Courts in the past, with the result that you see here. The dumbing down of the American voting public, which consistently votes against its best interests, doesn't help.

Daniel said...

Question is, Nancy: what to do? I only see two choices; get rid of the Presidency completely or turn the function into a ceremonial one, much like that of the Queen in England.

What astounds me most is the almost total inaction of the American people to the current farce.