A Mini-Rant on Presidents

A mini rant on what “the President” actually means, since so many people seem to have forgotten.

No one “serves” the President – you only “serve” monarchs or dictators.

The presidency is an office, not a person, and “loyalty” (if any) is only due to that office, not to a specific person.

The President is not the highest power in the land – the people are. All government authority in this country derives from the people. (“We the people…”)

The President is not even the highest authority in government – he is explicitly answerable to Congress (through the process of impeachment), and no amount of crying “executive privilege” is going to change this fact.

The President isn’t really meant to be a leader, he’s meant to be an administrator – his duty is to faithfully execute the laws that Congress passes with the money Congress grants. In this way, the President kind of serves Congress (which itself serves the people) – and not the other way around. (And this is how it should be – unless you personally enjoy dictatorships.)

The President is only really a “leader” of his own party, and only has “authority” that his party grants him, through their control (or lack thereof) of Congress.

If you want to think of it as a business (which it is not, but for the sake of argument we’ll make the comparison), the President is the CEO, Congress is the Board of Directors, and the people are the shareholders. A CEO may be “in charge” of the company, but he’s answerable to the board, and needs the board’s approval for major decisions. And if a CEO does things that decrease the value of the company and hurt the shareholders, he – along with the board of directors, if they went along with it – is going to rightfully find himself in very hot water with some very angry shareholders.

Oh, and the President absolutely cannot pardon himself. That is the logic of a 5 year old.

The March to Tyranny

How quickly a country can fall…
If you’ve ever wondered how a democratic country can become a dictatorship, just look around you right now. The current “president” of the United States has:

  • Tried to ban immigration
  • Arrested journalists for covering events unflattering to him
  • Tried to silence the media
  • Told people to ignore the media and only listen to him
  • Fired people for daring to challenge him
  • Uses his own private security force, loyal only to him personally
  • Trying to concentrate power in a small group of people and bypass the legislative branch
  • Removed military leaders from decision making about national security
  • Describes people who disagree with him as having “betrayed” their country

These are not the actions of a free and democratic society, they are the actions of a despot.

We do not have a president anymore; we have a tyrant, and he deserves to be deposed as one.

On Endings & Beginnings

My God, what have we done?
Well, it happened. America voted a racist, misogynistic, fear-mongering idiot as its chief executive, head of state, and commander-in-chief. This is arguably the first President elected entirely out of spite.

He campaigned on fear and hate and it worked – and what do you think that says about us? It says that we are a bunch of fearful, small-minded, and angry people, and now we have to put up with the consequences of our choices.

We put so much emphasis on “winning” that we chose our candidates and elected someone based on whether we thought they could win, rather than if we thought they were actually going to be good at their job.

If we don’t want this to be the start of an ending that has been a long time coming – a long, slow decline that has now come to a precipice – we need to stop being so concerned about “winning” (or preventing someone else from “winning”) and start being more concerned about “doing well.” From how we choose candidates to how we compromise on differences of opinion, it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about doing good and avoiding the most harm.

I suspect this is going to be very difficult – change always is – especially with all the momentum we’ve built up as of late. “Cooler heads prevail” is a nice thing to say but it rarely happens in practice. Yet we must do it, or else that same momentum will take us right over that precipice, and future historians will look back to this time and say “2016 marked the beginning of the end.”

Our divisiveness has allowed this to happen, has made it virtually inevitable, and continuing to be this divisive can lead to only one conclusion, and that is that nobody wins, and everybody loses. We must stop this, we must stop being so divisive, being so afraid of ourselves that we can’t work together.

United we stand; divided… well, you know the rest.