...as well as anyone else who worships the President.
The recurring theme recently in this column is the sick joke of the upcoming Presidential election. It comes down to the American people getting to decide, for the rest of the world, who the world’s dictator is going to be.
That’s what is so ridiculous about the American World Empire. The President will always be relatively weak on the domestic agenda. As both Bush and Clinton can attest, it is hard getting any nominee for a federal judgeship through Congress. When Clinton nominated someone, Republicans in Congress were hysterical. These LIBERALS were going to thwart democracy to further their own ideological agenda! And Bush, without a filibuster-proof majority, sees his nominees likened to KKK members if they’ve ever said anything remotely critical of, say, the Civil Rights Act.
But when Clinton wants to destroy the infrastructure of the Serbian economy, Republicans give their blessing. When Bush wants to blow off the arms of Iraqi children, Democrats give their blessing.
As Joe Sobran recently noted: “The proof that both parties are really the same party is simple: Neither wants to repeal much of what the other party has achieved.” Even more disturbing is that the “least bad” of the candidates - John Kerry - is only not as bad as President Bush because he hasn’t done anything as President yet.
Kerry is a man who, if he had his druthers, would force the American taxpayer to fund all of the world’s abortions, in the name of Choice, Women’s Rights, and Family Planning. And then he would deny American women the right to use marijuana as a pain-killing medication for cancer treatment. I will never understand the level of political whoredom or innate moral and intellectual depravity that can lead a person to such … I don’t know, hypocrisy seems to be too soft a word for it. If pro-abortion, but also pro-War on Drugs is what the Soccer Moms will vote for, then the only worthwhile candidate is the one with the courage to stand up and say that Soccer Moms can go to hell.
What’s scarier is that such wickedness is to be preferred over the incumbent, if only as a wake-up call to the Republican Party. When the respectable media start hyping this as the most important election in decades, then we know that it is probably the least important. Bi-partisan agreement on the War on Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security, the Campaign Finance Reform Act, and runaway federal spending, would indicate that there is no difference. Apparently, the importance of the election rests on how the President will or will not soothe the egos of the French President and German Chancellor.
But today’s column isn’t yet another pitch for voting for alternative parties. This goes to something deeper. I know that in the past we’ve had numerous Presidential candidates who were intellectually shallow and/or political opportunists. I’m not saying that Bush and Kerry stand out as particularly bad men among this lot. But the power that either would hold today is too much for one man (or woman) to bear. Since 1992, Presidential elections have essentially been the exclusive right of the American people to choose the dictator of the world.
Did you hear the one about George Bush’s reaction after seeing The Lord of the Rings? He said, “I don’t get it. Why didn’t Frodo use the ring to kill the bad guys?”
The problem with the Presidency is the problem of the Ring: No one should hold the ring of power, and no one should be President. The office isn’t what it was designed to be. It’s powers, through unconstitutional executive orders, unconstitutional powers over trade, unconstitutional powers over our individual lives, and unconstitutional powers to make war, are simply too vast. The person who becomes President is a captive - a prisoner to his advisors. They give him the information they want him to hear, and he gives them the orders they expect him to give based on that very information.
The President is the most isolated, lonely man on earth. He is literally helpless. He’s supposed to know more than anyone about health, about the environment, about economics, and about national security. He is supposed to be principled and have strong beliefs yet not alienate people who disagree with him. He is supposed to be noble, yet populist. Intellectual, yet instinctive. Charismatic, yet courageous. Charming, yet firm. Partisan leader, yet representative of a whole nation. Leader of the free world, but also leader of his own country. He is supposed to be all things to all people, on whatever terms the people judge.
The office thus attracts the low-lifes like Clinton who view affirmation in the political arena as the epitome of human achievement, and also the far more dangerous low-lifes like George W. Bush who have Messiah complexes.
My friend’s words from election night in 2000 stick with me to this day: “I voted for Gore, because I think he’d be the less effective President.”
It is our obligation to fight against the power of the Presidency. Not only for ourselves and the liberty of future generations of Americans, but for the world as a whole. Remember: we are the bad guys. The President rules the world. Truman dropped unnecessary nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and then five years later, went to war against North Korea without a formal Congressional Declaration of War. Why? Because with these two powers, the President sent the clear message to the rest of the world: We will go to war with you, even nuke you, whenever the President feels like it, for whatever reason. There’s no other explanation for what Truman did. It defies all morality and legality. But it’s inescapable. America rules the world through the use of terror. The terror of a Presidency no longer bridled by Congressional involvement in foreign affairs or exclusive Declarations of War, the terror of potentially murdering hundreds of thousands because of the whim of one man.
To a large degree in domestic affairs, and to an almost infinite degree in foreign affairs, the President has unchecked power. This is wrong. It is immoral, it actually makes us less secure by inviting anti-Americanism and terrorist strikes, and it is also unconstitutional. I think George Washington’s advisement against “entangling alliances” was not just good for American policy, it was good to keep intact the authority of the Presidency. It was once a limited office filled, initially, by extraordinary men (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, Van Buren). Now, it is an unlimited office - an office too complicated even for Superman - filled by weak men. This is no accident, this is inevitable. The more power the State accrues, the more likely low-lifes will use politics to get ahead in life.
I don’t like where our country is headed.