The Presidency: The Root Of Our Problems

The Mason Conservative is one of Virginia’s more thoughtful blogs, and its author, Chris Beer, is worth taking seriously. Therefore, since Beer appears to have put a lot of thought into this post I thought it worth reblogging.

On the eve of the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, I got to thinking a bit how we are even here.  How have we gone from having an honest conversation about America’s health care system to deciding the fate of legislation solely given to the current President and how his legacy, or at least part of it, hinges on this decision and its aftermath?  The more I thought about it, the more I got to thinking about the nature of our current system of government we have now.  Congress has an approval rating of 9% and we have two presidential candidates carrying on that right now, largely resemble another Seinfeld election where it’s essentially about nothing.  That is a condemnation of the Republican Party who turned away the reform, activist grassroots that brought us back to power in 2010 way faster than we had any right to be back for a billionaire one-term governor who’s never lived a hard day in his life.  Then we have an incumbent president who was elected because he promised everything to everyone, knowing full well he could meet none of those promises.  It is insidious what he pulled over us.

Then I got to think, whose fault is this?  Is it Congress’s fault?  We hear nothing but the infernal partisanship that mucks up the system.  If only the Tea Party would “compromise.”  If only the Progressive Left would “compromise.”  Yet any student of history would understand today’s partisanship pales in comparison to the days of congressman beating senators half to death at their desks or men threatening duels on the floor of the House.  In fact, our partisanship I would argue is less than in the past because of all the media transparency and the unprecedented access every-day citizens have into the inner-workings of government. (continued here)

Beer goes on to identify the Presidency itself as the source of our problems. Then he proposes three reforms which he believes would help alleviate that problem. While I don’t object to Beer reforms, I do not think that by themselves his reforms would actually be helpful. In fact, without a more fundamental reform, none of Beer’s proposals will ever be enacted.

But what if just the first of Beer’s proposed reforms was enacted? Imagine our dilemma if Obama did not have to worry about reelection. What if Obama also had six instead of four years to wreck havoc upon our nation? Does limiting a president to a six-year term solve anything?

So what is the source of our problems? I think our problems come from We The People, not with our leadership. Didn’t we select the people who lead us? Yes! And we put the wrong people in charge. Moreover, we asked them to do the wrong things.

Nonetheless, is Beer right? Is there a problem with the office of the Presidency? Yes, but look at what happened in the last election. By the time we were ready to vote, much of the news media had practically deified the man. Instead of looking to God, too many of us now look to government to fix our problems.

So am I saying Beers is wrong and I am right? Because Beer and I are looking at the problem from different perspectives, I don’t there is a good yes or no answer to that question. Whereas Beer is looking a technical fix, I see a spiritual problem. I think we can each learn something by comparing our perspectives.

What exactly is my perspective? Check out CORRUPTED BY OUR SUPPOSED GENEROSITY — PART 4 and the rest of the posts in that series. Note that I will be publishing the final post in the series next Monday.

5 thoughts on “The Presidency: The Root Of Our Problems

  1. We have a moral crisis in the country as well as a leadership crisis and a constitutional crisis. Can the latter two be fixed by fixing the first? It certainly can’t hurt.
    Here’s the comment I posted on Beer’s post:

    Six years of a very bad president, like Obama, could crush us. I agree with you that the office of the President no longer “ahares” power equally with the legislative and judicial branches. And excecutive orders, which were initially put into play to take care of mundane administrative work, have been illiegally used by presidents for decades. Can THAT be stopped? Yes, limits could be placed on executive orders but I don’t know if congress or the judcial branch has the stomach for it. I agree on term limits for congress. Term limits should be put in place at the voting booth but we know that too many Americans are not engaged. Actually, I would like to go back to the days of our founding when only those who contributed to society were allowed to vote. (Then it was property owners). If you don’t pay income tax–if you are not a wounded veteran or a senior citizen and more than 50% of your sustenance comes from government support, then you are not elgible to vote. We still may not make the best decisions at the voting booth, but at least we won’t have the takers in the country voting only to take more from the givers.

    1. I too have a moral objection against people voting themselves money from the treasury, but I don’t think we can entirely avoid it. Usually I don’t cite a personal experience as evidence, but I think this relevant. For years I served in the military and now I work as a defense contractor. Because I believe in what I do, I vote for a strong defense. Therefore, I effectively vote for people who will pay me a good salary.

      Because demagogues thrive on emotional turmoil, they are happiest when they have an excuse to personally attack and ridicule their opponents. So they when see people like me, both defending the defense budget and earning a living from it, they scream “hypocrite”. Then they proceed to use defense spending as an excuse to use every cent they can steal to buy votes with their social programs.

      How do demagogues get away with such a stupid argument? What is more important, how do we stop them from getting away with such a stupid argument? That in part is the subject of “CORRUPTED BY OUR SUPPOSED GENEROSITY — PART 5”. I will publish that on Monday. I would appreciate hearing what you think about it.

      1. When you put it that way, Tom–pitting defense spending against social programs–it really does sound silly. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other, except that without a proper defense we wouldn’t need social spending because we could all be dead or subserviant to a worse regime than our own. I look forward to reading your post. I’m not as active in reading my favorite blogs as I should be. Like everyone else–summer! But I expect things to pick up following the conventions. Then we won’t be able to blog or read or comment fast enough!

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