Posts Tagged ‘President of the United States’

McChrystal, Obama, their values

General McChrystal was publically disrespectful to a superior officer, the President of the United States, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Graciously, the president allowed him to resign rather than fire him.

But, recall the history of General McChrystal’s command in Afghanistan. The president selected him for this command and defined the mission. To the president’s surprise, the General did his job, assessed the situation and told the president he needed at least 50,000 more troops or the mission would “risk failure,” officials “persuading” him to delay his request and then ask for only 40,000. At the time, there were only 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, General McChrystal needing a near doubling of his troop strength.

Free market economy?

Discussing the economy, the President said the private sector is “still nervous about whether they want to go ahead and take the risks that are inherent in a free market system.”  But, the private sector is not afraid of free markets, it is afraid of continued government interference and fears how much more it will interfere.  The government’s job is to regulate the “playing field” of the markets, not to control and manipulate them.

The damnpolitician and the farmer

Last week, I proponed the Founding Fathers had only two requirements to be president of the United States because they wanted to protect the people’s power to choose the president.   They did not want those writing the Constitution and those later “interpreting” it to be able to limit our choices. 

They assumed people like you and me would give time to our country and return home to live as everyone else, rather than staying in Washington becoming a member of the political aristocracy, becoming a career politician.  Perhaps one of the greatest failures of the Founding Fathers was not anticipating the career politician.

To be President of the United States

There are only two constitutional requirements to be president of the United States of America.  You must be a natural born citizen of the United States and at least 35 years of age.  That is all that is needed for the most important job in the world.  Although considered enough in 1787, is that enough today; or should we set more criterion for the office?


Today’s presidential races have entered the rock star media age of politics, an obvious difference between pre- and post-television presidential campaigns.  Candidates now have image consultants and are “packaged” for public appearances just like actors and actresses, even including $400 haircuts.

What should we ask Congress?

Last week President Obama reprimanded Wall Street CEOs’ for their outrageous salaries and spending, saying they must show “restraint and responsibility.”  Should he have admonished Congress instead, because it puts Wall Street executives to shame with irresponsible spending?  Moreover, Congress displays righteous indignation toward companies going on extravagant junkets and sponsoring lavish conferences, while it does the very same thing.

Perhaps writer P. J. O’Rourke was correct saying, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”  But, this is probably an unfair statement because it insults teenage boys. 

What really happened November 4th?

What really happened on November 4th?  Whom did we elect as President?  Did we elect a liberal, leftist, socialist President; a gun control President or a welfare President? 

Maybe we elected an African-American President, a hyphenated President that Theodore Roosevelt expressed displeasure with in a speech in 1915 saying, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism … This is just as true of the man who puts ‘native’ before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen.  Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.  Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.” 

We need to return to a citizen government

Our Founding Fathers believed serving as President or in Congress was a duty to country, a sacrifice for country, a calling. They did not anticipate Congress becoming a career choice with members subservient to the power of the incumbency and the money it attracts. Rather, the Founding Fathers intended a weak federal government, subservient to much stronger state governments that served a powerful citizenry.  Thomas Jefferson resisted all attempts to foster a strong federal government, adamant the power must rest with the people.  What went wrong?  Does the power rest with the people, as it should?  Does Congress do the peoples’ work?  The movie Charlie Wilson’s War explains how well Congress tends to the people.  Asked by a political activist, “Why do congressmen talk so much and do nothing,” Charlie Wilson responded, “Tradition mostly.”  The Founding Fathers intended a citizen government, run by people like you and me, serving our country, doing the peoples’ work, and then going home.

Civility in presidential politics

Will civility ever return to presidential campaigns?  Is it reasonable to hope for respectful debating?  Or, are we obliged to accept the mudslinging as a given in politics?  What would our founding fathers think if they were to witness one of today’s presidential campaigns?  Would they be impressed or would they be embarrassed?  Can we ever return to the ethical debating they so prized? 

ABC declared 2008 the “dirtiest presidential campaign in history.”  With estimates of the cost of this year’s election exceeding $1 billion, will the candidates see a choice other than negative campaigning?  There is no second place.  “The art is to damage your opponent without getting caught doing it,” said Rob Shealy, a campaign strategist who was convicted for violating campaign laws.