An Imperial Presidency

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An Imperial Presidency Writers of the constitution intended for congress to be the most powerful branch of government. They invested in the president: the powers of the monarch, but subjected him to the democratic principles of accountability which was ensured by a complex system of parliamentary and judicial checks and balances. For over a century the US got along fine with a relatively weak president whose major role was simply to carry out the laws and policies made by congress, however, there has been erosion in this system. Presidential power only started to grow after the 19th century when the US set out on its path to empire. A great transformation of the president’s power came with Franklin D. Roosevelt. When he came into office in 1933, he declared the great depression[1] a national emergency and announced that he would treat the depression as a war. Although congress did not approve of this, he still presided over the nation. Roosevelt also stayed in office for more than four terms until his death in 1945. His forceful leadership and many years in office inspired a term, ‘the imperial presidency’ that would be applied to subsequent president with similar leadership style. Imperial means one that is superior in authority or acting like an emperor. Roosevelt’s successors used the cold war to justify continuity of the imperial presidency. There was liberty in the amount of staff the president could have. The white house became over crowded with staff that held personal loyalty to the person holding the office of president this brought enough favour and support to the president in doing what he pleases. The preside... ... middle of paper ... ...s gave Lyndon B. Johnson a free hand to do whatever he believed was necessary in Southeast Asia, the result was the deadly Vietnam War that ripped America apart. Now congress is being extra indulgent with the bush administration. The people should show their resentment to the imperial presidency. Also election should be done justly so that the fluke that put Bush into administration doesn’t occur again. If congress and the judiciary can put a proper check like that of Nixon’s or Ronald Reagan’s regime, congress would acquire its rightful position in the balance of power and the democratic nation which the founding fathers intended for would be derived. --------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Fight against communism [2] About 2,400 detainees being held by US military troops
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