Final Exam Essay on The Presidency

The American presidency has much paradox because the people want an individual who is honest and has humility, but at the same time when one looks at the presidents voted in especially the recent one, they do not display this kind of character.

They want a president who is also areasonable person like himself or herself but at the same time the president even though normal should be extraordinary, that marks him different from a usual person.
The people want anice and down to earth person but at the same time, being too nice is considered a weakness because it means that they are weak, and if they are weak then it means that they are not fit to hold that strong position.

In other words, the individual character that the Americans wants does not necessarily match up to what they gate. Case includes the recent 2016 elections. Hillary was the ideal presidential candidate who had vast experience in public service, into the political realm but all that experience did not matter as American loudly spoke and voted for the candidate that they deemed fit to run their country. His character to the point of elections did not matter, the voters accepted him.

Was he born a natural leader? No, he did not even have any prior political experience but the guy was a rich man, and in the end despite his racist remarks and stand on illegal immigration it appears that Americans preferred him to the highly experienced Hillary.

As an institution, it did not bar Trump from practicing his right as an American to campaign for the seat. He fulfilled all the right things and was able to campaign for it. This goes to show that the constitution does not bar an American from wanting to be the President, In history, a story is told of how many times Abraham Lincoln tried and failed to become the president and eventually he became one. The presidency is not discriminatory, so one does not need prior experience in order to the president, and we see that in Trump’s win.

Crisis of presidency
The effectiveness of a president is made higher or lesser depending on the historical situation and the opportunities that are presented right in front of them. Some presidents left a significant impact and made a difference example Lyndon Johnson and civil rights on the war on poverty or George. W Bush on the war on terrorism. How they took on these challenges and changed history sometimes does separate an individual from the president. Buh had to ignore the UN call not to start a war and waged one in the Middle East, which takes courage only an extra ordinary person can have (Cronin & Genovese 23).

The framers wanted leadership yet feared the development of successful leadership. So the president, of course, has been given some powers that will enable him/her to run the country,but at the same time, they cannot abuse the office as they are also held accountable by individual institutions.

The challenge is not to reduce the ability of the president to lead and govern the country but the ability to hold him/her accountable when they lead and govern. Over time the presidency has become the primary source of power in the government especially after the terrorist attack in the wake of 2001 the public was comfortable with the idea that the presidential powers should be expended. This explains why even after other international countries were against the idea of a war in the Middle East, the president of the US had the backing to continue to wage war.

The goldilocks problem is a concept that is used to apply ‘just the right amount’ The presidency needed to have substantial power, just the right amount of power to get on top of America’s domestic problems and at the same time maintain a leadership position in foreign affairs.

Another paradox of the presidency view is the simultaneous view of the president being too loud and too weak. This is about the fact that the president does have certain substantial powers that make him the most powerful man but with that power also comes accountability. Some presidents, however, have abused these powers like the former president George W. Bush. He waged war in the Middle East on false information provided to him by the CIA about Saddam having nuclear weapons that could be used against the American people. This, however, turned out to be untrue but by then billions of dollars had been used, and people had died because of a war that could have been prevented if people had looked at the fact un-emotionally post 2001 terror attacks.

It was seriously against law how the people working for him did whatever he wanted even not following the international human rights law and torturing people in order to get information. This in the end just created Islamic extremism. People tortured suddenly had a religious reason to undertake terror attacks in the name of Allah and feel justified by it. When people do not feel protected by the rule of law, they then start to do their justices. Unfortunately, this created an ugly monster that is the Islamic extremism. Who then would bring this president to accountability?

Roots and growth
The presidency of the 21st century is very different from the presidency of the 1800. The balances of powers have greatly shifted so that the executive branch has at least equal power to the legislative branch. The constitution assigns the following powers to the presidency; Military powers, Diplomatic powers, Appointment powers and Legislative powers.

Initially the constitution gave limited powers to the president so congress had dominated power in the executive branch until the 1930s. The power of the presidency has grown over the recent years. The cabinet is an informal advisory board not mentioned in the constitution. The cabinet members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate, they however may be dismissed at any time. Divine right of kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal absolutism. A leader has his right to rule from the will of God, this does not work in the US; you have to be voted by the public in order for you to be a legal leader.

Leadership and power are used interchangeably but have different meanings. Leadership suggests the following things; influence, leaders, induce followership and also inspire their followers. Power, however, suggests all the negative things, it suggests command, and followers are made to do things even if they do not want to. The president’s formal powers include the authority given by the constitution,delegated powers, statutes and areas that must follow the commands of the president.

Impeachment is a trial of any civil official which includes the president without the standard judicial mumbo jumbo, that is the judge, jury,and prosecutor.
This is spelt out in the constitution there are three impeachable offenses: Treason and bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors which leaves room for a lot of argument and politics.
Its generally up to the House of Representatives to accuse the president of one of those offenses. So if the charges are brought forth,and the majority of the votes are for the impeachment of the president, then the president is impeached.
Then it is turned over to the Senate, which acts as a jury and a judge in those terms, then it hears the evidence,and if the two-thirds vote to convict, then the decision is final. The president is no longer the president,and he relinquishes his powers.
All this is spelt out in the constitution Article 11 section 4. The Judicial system has nothing to do with this process.

Trump File
Michael wolf in his book considered Donald trump as a person who did not think that he would win the 2016 election. That is the reason why his campaign was always disorganized compared to Hillary Clinton’s campaign management. In his book Fire and Fury, almost everybody in Trump’s campaign had an unspoken agreement that he would not only become the president,but he probably shouldn’t be one(Wolff 20).
It is interesting that nobody in his camp thought that he would win the presidency and beat Hillary Clinton. Worse that his wife also in the book is seen in tears on election night and the tears were not of joy, she also thought that her husband would not win.
Wolff also recounts on Trump being a womanizer, as read in the book of paradox such a president would be frowned upon on, and unlikely to get elected because he continues to treat women as things, the book claims that he hardly has a relationship with his current wife,Melania.
Trump ended winning the Electoral College vote while Hillary won the popular vote. In his campaign trail, Trump faced controversy especially over his view on race and immigration. He has a history of making remarks that are racially controversial and is also considered to be playing upon racial anxieties in the country. The example in 1973, his company was sued for housing discrimination against black renters.
Trump in his campaign also had this speech where he said immigrants were criminals and rapist or who brought in drugs, which was discriminatory, but with all things going on. He appealed to most Americans mainly because of his “Make America great again” campaign which was popular with his followers and also on illegal immigration.
Trump is the first president who has no prior public service experience or the military, and he is also the wealthiest President. It is indeed a wonder how such a man with so much negative controversy would be able to clinch that powerful seat in America. It is one of the most significant political upset victories in modern American history; no one saw this coming, including himself and the people around him.

President and Rule of Law
Everyone from the president to the justices of the supreme court, state judges and the legislators all pledge to first and foremost uphold the rule of law, that is the constitution. The constitution in the US and also in other countries is always superior to the rule of any Human leader.
Whatever the president does while performing his powers he should first follow the constitution, whatever he undertakes, whatever laws he approves they all should follow the constitution and not be against it.
The trump administration with all the immigrant policies they have done to date all follow the law and is within the constitution. The travel bans, initially Congress has passed some immigration laws so whatever is happening now is well within the constitution even if no one agrees with the way the immigrants are being treated. Families are being separated; other families are having tear gas thrown towards them to prevent them from seeking an immigrant status in the US.
Historians will debate the reason why the Framers of the US constitution whether they were trying to protect democracy or were protectors of propertied interest. What was their reason for this constitution was it because they were genuinely concerned about the democracy of the country that needed protection or because of other things that do not concern the American people?

President and Congress
The constitution does not spell out the power of the Presidency; however, Article 1 is entirely devoted to the Congress which according to it is the first and most crucial powerful branch of the government.
The Framers separated powers as a way to prevent tyranny; it saw it as a strength rather than a weakness. For the government to work effectively, the president and the congress had to work together in unity. The Framers recognized that there had to be a partnership between the president and the congress. In another word, the president had to get the congress to accept their proposals. One cannot do without the other. This would have prevented the president from making promises unilaterally, being selfish in their policies instead, everything is discussed in the open, and policies are made for the good of the American People.
The president may disagree with this, but there has to be a sustained relationship between him and the congress if he wants to run the country well and get his proposals approved. It is like shared power.

Institutional president
The recent institution of the American Presidency has grown in Power, which, means that the president can make quick decisions and make an action.
Article 11 of the constitution vested executive powers on the presidency. Furthermore, presidential independence of congress has been strengthened.
The President’s expressed powers as defined by article 11, section 2 and 3, include military, diplomatic, judicial, legislative and executive powers. The president as an institution is a pretty big deal in the US. That is why the president is usually referred to the most powerful man in the world.
Management style, cabinet stuff, who runs things the president does run things but with the help of the congress as discussed.
It is like a shared partnership between the president and the congress even if recently the presidency powers have been increased.

Madison_ was the constitution a curse or a gift?
The constitution is not a curse but a gift because it is the country’s first Rule of law and everyone including the president is below it; this means that the other branches of government cannot do anything that goes beyond what the constitution has stated.
A country needs to have laws that govern it. Legislators, congress and the President should make policies and lead the country under the guidelines of the constitution. Anything other than that is regarded as unlawful.
Countries that have a constitution are peaceful countries that depend on their constitution and do not run on anarchy. Compare this with countries that do not even have a constitution, they are experiencing civil law,and people can literary do anything including murder and not get prosecuted.
The Founders believed that the constitution was a gift and would lead the country in the right direction and it has led the country in the right direction for decades.

Is the president safe for democracy or how could we change it, liberal democracy vs.illiberal democracy?
Liberal democracy does take various constitutional forms. That is it may be a constitutional monarchy while illiberal democracy also is typically known as Partial democracy, has low intensity democracy, empty democracy. It is a governing whereby elections do take place; the citizens are however cut off from the knowledge about activities of those who exercise real power because of lack of civil liberties. This, fortunately, does not take place in the US. There is the practice of real democracy.
The democracy is safe for democracy because the president has to garner votes that do portray that most of his citizens would like him to be their leader. There is no vote rigging in this forward democracy; leaders do not result in games that prevent the voter from voting into office whom they want to lead as their President.
With his said even though Hillary won the popular vote, the 2016 elections eventually exposed the America that wanted to believe in ‘Making America great again’ even if it came from a president who was continually being misogynistic and constantly marred with controversies left to right and center. In the end, because of democracy, they were able to elect the leader that they believed would get them to where they wanted the country to be both politically and economically.

Political domestic and Foreign Policy
American has been recognized as a great super power in modern history. Modern presidents have paid great attention to domestic and foreign policy, especially when it comes to domestic and foreign security policies. In the aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks, the country put most of its financial budget on improving both domestic and foreign security policy, which would prevent the country from ever experiencing terror attacks of such magnitude.

Foreign policy has been over the years linked to a strong presidency, so modern presidents increased their attention to foreign policy. Foreign policy also connect to political domestic, Forexample, for the American to start feeling safe in their country without witnessing terror attacks, the president had to follow these terrorism groups to other countries, they asked Iran to produced Osama Bin Laden to answer for the terror attacks that took place, and president Obama when in office was able to track him down and kill him.

The founding fathers intended the president to undertake a significant stake in Foreign Policy. President Carter is said to have spent more time on the Middle East issue and confessed to liking dealing with foreign policy because of his capacity to act individually as opposed to domestic policy.
Most president has at least spent a lot of their time and national budget money on foreign policy especially in recent years when there has been much terrorism going on in the country.However, in the end, the domestic affairs cannot be ignored case in point being when George W. Bush stopped being popular in the US after the gulf war.

Scholars believe that there are differences between domestic policy and foreign policy. The presidents are believed to have higher power in foreign policy than in domestic and economic policy.

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Work cited
Cronin E Thomas & Michael A Genovese. The paradoxes of the American Presidency 2nd edition,2004.
Wolff Michael. Fire and Fury: inside the Trump white house, 2016.