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Were all gearing up now for the biggest extravaganza since Bristol Palin was on Dancing With the Stars. The Presidential Election of 2012. Everyone is so excited! Will Obama come back from his dismal low ratings and break the record (nobody has ever come back from such a low rating in their first administration to win). Will Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman settle their Mormon differences? Will Rick Perry win or secede from the Union? Will Michelle Bachmann release a sex video?
We have no idea. But we know something will happen. And lots of it. Its going to cost $2 billion to win this election according to the latest pundit analysis (pundit anal and sis being the key words here). Theres going to be a lot of smoking behind closed doors. A lot of deal-making. A lot of machines are going to kick into gear. Consultants will become rich. TV networks and newspapers will get down on their knees and praise god they get to survive another year thanks to the massive amounts of advertising.
Heres my question: What does the President even do? Do we need one?
In fact, one step further: I think the institution of the Presidency has largely ruined my life and the lives of most other people.
My proposal: We dont need a President of the United States. In fact, hes useless.
First off, the Constitution doesnt even address the powers of the Presidency until Article II. The Founders clearly thought the legislative branch was more important, i.e. the actual branch that creates laws, declares wars, etc.
But, in a prior post Ive already written that theres no longer a need for a legislative branch the way the Founders conceived it. Times have changed and technology has driven away all of the initial reasons for a republic-based legislative branch so we can have a true democracy commanded by a much more informed electorate:
A) there was no way to transmit information quickly to the voters (now we have the internet so everyone can actually vote and be informed) B) the founding fathers figured only rich landowners could afford to be congressmen (still mostly true) so that their interests above all would be represented (again, not a true democracy but more a bastardized distortion of one).
So now, we could:
A) save the $4bb in costs that is the budget of congress each year B) save the trillion or so in costs that are all the you vote for my bridge and Ill vote for yours pork that happens C) save the 10s of billions in lobbying costs each year (not it would cost 100s of billions to do the same lobbying via advertising instead of just taking a congressman out for dinner) D) avoid all the fear-mongering and partisanship that was caused by the debt ceiling argument and other similar meaningless arguments E) actually have mothers vote on whether or not to send their kids to war.
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Ok, enough on that. [See also, why I don’t vote: "Politics is a Scam"]
So whats the Presidency for? According to the Constitution:
Wars? Lately the President has been declaring wars. Were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and probably three or four other places I dont even know about. The only problem is, according to the Constitution, the President is not allowed to declare wars. Only the House is. The last war the House has actually declared (the only body of government actually allowed to declare war) was World War II, in 1941. And that was after 11 million people were already killed or about to be killed. Oops! Too late!
So the President, I guess, took actions in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada (??), and a dozen other places I would never want to step foot in. [See also, "Name me one war that was justified"]
Its such a simple math: if you get rid of the Presidency, millions of American children will live to be adults instead of dying on foreign soil. And millions of civilians in other countries would be left alone. Seems like a good deal.
Treaties. Since 2000 theres only been two important treaties that have been ratified, both dealing with the US and Russia limiting nuclear arms. This is clearly important. We dont want people sending around nuclear missiles at each other, which is what I guess wouldve happened if the President of the United States didnt figure this all out for us. Since this is an important issue (and looks like the ONLY important issue from an international perspective), my guess is we can just elect some specialist in nuclear proliferation to become the head of nuclear treaties. Then we, the new legislative branch democracy, would vote on whether or not to ratify the treaty. All good.
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Guess what? The President doesnt really have any other power. Well, you might say, he is
Commander In Chief of the Military. A couple of points: Hes not really commander in chief. Im not going to make fun of the last few Presidents. But if you do the slightest bit of googling on Clinton, Bush, and Obama, you can see that none of them are qualified to be Commander in Chief of a Girl Scout unit, let alone the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, etc.
Second, since the House hasnt declared war since 1941, whats the big deal about being Commander in Chief of an Army that hasnt legally done anything since 1941. I know, I know, weve been in a lot of wars, justified or not. They are defending my way of life, etc etc.
Heres whats really defending my way of life. Not somebody fighting in a jungle in Vietnam or Afghanistan but global capitalism. The more we trade and do business and support the economic development of third world countries, the less likely they are to want to bomb us (which has happened once in 50 years and not by a country but by a terrorist group that we successfully fought more through seizing bank accounts than through military actions).
Lets not forget: WE CREATED Al Quaeda to fight the Russians. And then we abandoned them: militarily and economically. Lets stop doing that! Bad America!