“President as Fixer” – that’s the problem
We have developed in this nation the bizarre idea that one man, and his cronies, has some magical insight that he and he alone will solve this nation’s problems, whatever they might be. At this point in our history, it seems a president must be involved or knowledgeable about every subject under the sun. And so many people look to their man (or woman, for a few) as the savior of the nation. The one person who will make everything good. These people are seeking a miracle worker, and what we get is a man. A guy with friends, a guy with his own ideas about what everyone else should be doing. And a coterie of friends that will enable him to effect his vision for America. And sometimes it seems that no one wants to do anything on their own anymore, unless he has received presidential approval, or party approval at least. Often, each of the two parties (and many of the smaller ones, to be sure,) seems to think that not one single idea of anyone else could possibly merit a positive word.
We look now to the president for a jobs plan – The president will, or will not, make new jobs. But the president doesn’t make new jobs. He can’t. Or we look to the president’s, or the candidate’s, plans to solve energy independence, or equality, or homelessness, or poverty or some other reality of our land. How anyone could believe that one man could know so much and be in control of so much and make decisions about so much is really beyond my ability to grasp. Still, it’s said a president must know about farm supports and bailouts and economics and monetary infusions and science and medicine and the health care system and well, everything. Is there anything left in this nation which is not a presidential concern?
It’s been said of late that a president must even be involved in deciding as whether the private marriage of two citizens is a governmental issue, or a public issue, a congressional issue. Perhaps cabinet positions are needed to deal with even more areas of life. There’s always talk of making yet another cabinet level agency, another cabinet secretary. Weirdly, a cabinet of secretaries, such an ancient sounding term, isn’t even in the Constitution.
Ah, some say that the “General Welfare” clause of the preamble to the document allows the president, the congress and the government at large to make any decisions they deem right for the “general welfare.” With this catchall phrase I wonder what the rest of the document then is for? So much of it is superfluous, obviously, if everything is allowed under the GW clause. It’s said that any law might be passed, even if unread, and contradictory to other laws, or even so contrary to common sense and liberty too that the Constitution doesn’t mean much. And always, the answer to any problem is that we need some federal law to come to the rescue. And many believe, at the definite request of the president or a candidate for the office, that once the federal government has passed a law, well, then, that problem is solved. Mere words on paper become solutions, rather than any practical realities.
And this giving of enormous power to one man and his cronies is just not a good idea. I don’t care what you think needs solving – I’m even probably for that. I don’t care who you “care about” enough to do something – I’m probably for that too. Indeed, I find most touchy-feely let’s help people commentary rather nice – but then, go touch and feel yourself, help those people. But merely handing it off to Washington and the president has got to be the worst idea since, well, we had royalty. It is time for Americans to give up on Washington solving problems with a law, a program and a few billion bucks – for in each instance (poverty, homelessness, inequality, etc,) no matter what they tried – it has failed. Face it – if a War on Poverty begun in 1965 still hasn’t “solved” poverty – then the war failed. Try something else. But no, in our times of “hope” “change” and “making a better America” not a single thing can be changed or altered. The failures have become our mantra – keep it all! What a dumb concept.
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