This, by my friend Phil:
The term “president” was chosen by our founding fathers intentionally as one that did NOT mean “powerful.” The term had never been used of a head of state before. It originally meant “one who presides over an organized body”. It is a term akin to “moderator”. The modern American Presidency has unfortunately changed this original meaning. We now expect our “president” to be a powerful fixer, and candidates for a hundred years have fed into this. Do you know what happens to honest Presidential candidates who answer the question “What are you going to do about that?” honestly by saying, “I can’t” or “I won’t” because that’s not the president’s job? They don’t even get nominated.
I would love to have a president who had the following as his/her presidential philosophy:
- He would do only what the Constitution says the president can do.
- She would only engage in war if she could get a full declaration of war from the congress. Otherwise, engagement in violent activities against other countries would be reserved only for absolute emergencies (and I realize that’s a large loophole – a declaration of war would still be required after the fact).
- He would veto any bill that had hidden in it a bunch of regulations or spending not specifically related to the bill’s purpose.
- She would work for all the people in our country, not just those who voted for her.
- He would set a tone that encouraged limitation of government activities and a shrinking of the cost of government.
- She would avoid lavish vacations; of course the president needs a break now and then like all of us, but extravagant, expensive trips would not be a normal behavior, especially in hard economic times.
- Once done with his term or terms, he would go back to a quiet private life and do something worthwhile and useful, quietly and without fanfare.
I can dream, can’t I?