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The Presidential Power Myth

Original post made by Power Is Not One, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2011

With the presidential elections beginning its long tour of duty, I began to notice a trend in modern presidential candidates. They speak as if they have the power to change things, that one person who garbles exalted doctrines of change is able to actually implement what they say. Obama is the classic case: The guy in office is bad, I am the second coming and I raise my hand and the waters part. Now comes Michelle Bachmann saying and sounding exactly the same. The guy in office is bad, I am the real second coming, and when I speak (even mis-stating facts) the waters will part.

There is one basic and false assumption: That the POTUS walks into the White House, waves a magic wand and things begin to happen as they command. This is pure fairy tale. Presidential Power that I am describing is a MYTH. American politics is complex, cumbersome and in many ways corrupt. It just doesn't work that way.

If we look back at a snapshot of a few presidents, let's say George Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Ronald Reagan they all spoke in WE terms, not I AM THE ONE terms.

Yet, we, as Americans, WANT to believe in an enthusiastic, charismatic leader that will make all the bogeymen go away. Our belief in the myth help perpetuate the myth. Yet, time and time again we have witnessed in real time that "I, the all powerful mind-set" cannot change anything.

I would love to hear a presidential candidate say: "Here's how WE are going to solve the problem!" Sure, the solutions will be varied and based in different moral and social values. But that's what I want to vote for, not people who think they can walk on water.

Now this is a new thought. I may be wrong. I may have to accept a Baskin-Robbins 31-Flavored set of saviors. I hope not, for our sake.

Comments (2)

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Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2011 at 6:38 am

Let's be reasonable. Some presidents are better able to get things done than others. Take George W. Bush, for example. He realized he couldn't just wave his wand. So what he did instead is got his team to lie about evidence concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That involved dismissing every claim, every caveat, that raised questions about Iraq's possession of WMD. Plant a few false stories with the NYTimes, strong-arm the spineless creep in charge of the CIA, and then step in front of the entire world and announce that there existed "indisputable evidence" that WMD's existed in Iraq. Poof. Who needs a magic wand when you can lie? Now, what really burns me up is how people dismiss the importance of all this and its cost in money and human lives in the face of unsustainable teacher salaries. Communists one and all.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mellow Fellow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm

To Reasonable:

Reasonable that was an excellent response. My hats off to you.

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