At the election of President Barack Obama, Americans were overcome with the joy of a newly crowned king. Surely he would usher in unprecedented wealth and prosperity for all Americans, heal racial divides and correct great social failings of our sordid past.
Fast forward eight years and while we had one of the most scandal-less presidents in US history, racial tension is at an all-time high in major cities, ObamaCare is pulling a Hindenburg and we haven’t ceased to be at war since he was elected. Those who hoped he would save them have not been saved and the nation has been delivered up to one of the most divisive candidates in our lifetimes.
Unfortunately, the very upswell that supported Obama and the broad use of his executive pen to bypass our achingly slow Congress, the hope upon his office to lead a nation of multicultural people as if they were but one single group, and desire for the president (any president, really) to correct our social wrongs and lead the American people into some glorious future has perfectly illustrated its keen failure through the election of Trump, a man few could say is pure or noble without wincing.
Trump was elected precisely because he is unpolitical in nature. He speaks his very crass mind, has a publicly sordid history with women and is arguably a bigot. And yet, while racists like the KKK have turned out in great numbers to elect him, it would be difficult to say it was racism that got him elected. If our nation were truly so racist as Trump’s opponents claim, where were those same racists when Obama was running? If our nation were truly so bigoted, Obama would never have made it into office, much less a second term.
No, Trump was elected because he was DIFFERENT. The people were so ready for something other-than-normal, however, they elected someone who should barely be allowed near a government building, much less to hold our nation’s highest seat.
But then, that’s the issue, isn’t it? We’ve inflated just one, single seat above all others to the point that we fear the man or woman who may hold it. Once upon a time, the average American citizen could walk up and rap the White House front door and likely meet with the POTUS, himself. While times have understandably changed so that that is infeasible safety-wise, we have seen the rise of a political position which was never intended to have such singular power.
Our nation is a cornucopia of cultures, societies and ideas. It’s not a melting pot of races — for what is race but a common culture among people of like-origin? We are a nation born of an idea comprised of ideas. Many of those ideas disagree with each other, and yet disagreement doesn’t invalidate any particular of them. What is good for one group of people in one part of the country may not be good for a different group. This ability for such a multitudinous people to live side-by-side in relative harmony is a fantastic element of our identity as Americans, one we have fought centuries to achieve.
Despite what the news says, our world is getting better every day. World poverty is at its lowest in human history and continues dropping. Police and gang shootings, alike, continue to decline. Wars continue to decrease, as well.
And yet, despite such prosperity amidst our differences, we have become obsessed with “fixing what’s wrong with our country.” We have been the 1% obsessed with the color on our carpet or whether our new sports car clashes with our bath towels. We have sunk our heads in sand about real problems affecting the world and instead squabble over things of middling importance as if, without change, they would bring the collapse of civilization. Congress isn’t moving fast enough for our heated need for change. What will we do?
“We’ll elect the RIGHT president, to bypass congress and do the RIGHT thing.”
This very dangerous way of thinking is what set the stage to give Trump so much power, as well as to put him in office.
First, the president’s job has nothing to do with domestic policy. While we have let him lead domestic policy, that was never his original design. Congress is to be the reflection of the public will. We elect representatives from our individual districts to go and stand among the many so the greater voice of the American public is heard through democratic republicanism (not referring to parties, but the state of operating as a republic). They are to represent our desires in government and the domestic will.
Our president, however, is supposed to represent all these variable, disagreeable, even downright antithetical groups with equal measure. He is to represent the racist as well as the peacemaker, the businessman and the poor man, the black and the white, voter and nonvoter, the socialist and the off-gridder; not because he supports any of these groups, but because that’s what comprises our national makeup. We are a land of freedom, and we are free to be sexist and free to be progressive. That freedom is what allows people to change their minds and inspire others to do the same. Using force to change people doesn’t create change or peace, but rebellion.
Instead, POTUS must represent these disparate groups as anyone best can — neutrally, and without favoritism. He or she goes before the world and represents a free people. He neither promotes one group nor defames another. It is not his place to lead Americans to great social change, because there is more than one society in our nation, and to support one could go against another; never mind that one good idea executed nationally is generally shallow and unable to deal with the complexities of normal human life. This is counter to liberty, and when calculated with human nature, can cause more harm than good.
Humans dislike being told what to do. We rebel. Prohibition in the 1920’s perfectly illustrates the problem drinking became AFTER it was outlawed, and the cesspool of humanity who sprung up to support that rebellion still plagues law enforcement today.
Our president is to be an OUTWARD facing diplomat, not an inward facing do-gooder. For one man or woman to wield such power in the face of such a variety of peoples is an insult to our history and a danger to our national fabric.
The Obama administration promoted social change with top-down pressure. It doesn’t matter if marriage equality, gender neutrality and common medical care are good things; it matters only that it felt forced from “on high.”
Why do you think so many people have left the church and religion?
One problem is that social justice warriors think they’re different from the very religion many of them claim is evil. They think groups pushing social change in government — such as the Christian Coalition — is oppression, but their attempts to force others into their belief system is somehow noble. I’m sure those at the Christian Coalition felt the same way about them.
This disconnect and “us vs them” mentality have only escalated our dedication to turning our executive branch into a great swinging arm of shallow social justice. Instead of ending American wars abroad, stopping the murder-by-drone of entire villages or quitting proxy wars to support NATO’s financial interests in Syria, we’re trying to enact short-sighted social justice by ramming it down people’s throats.
That’s what we have made of our presidency.
And then, after forgetting that our president switches at the drop of a hat, that any idiot can lie their way into office, that power corrupts and protects the corrupted, that power attracts the corruptible and narcissistic, that banking interests control more of our government than we otherwise acknowledge, we imbue our president with a great deal of executive power to create that “ultimate social warrior.” We falsely believe that “the people” will only and ever vote in “the right man/woman.”
Well, I hope Trump’s election disavows you of this very naïve understanding of how power operates in this country. It is rarely, if ever, truly in the favor of the common man, mostly because the common man is easily deceived, time and time again, into giving up his own God-given liberty in favor of greater and greater false security.
The president cannot be a force for social change, because the ascendancy of any one of our multiple societies will inevitably oppress others, and there is no singular society in our nation that is universally superior to all others. The president should not have such power, because it is precisely this danger — that a charlatan may be elected into an office designed for an all-powerful saint — against which we must be ever vigilant. We cannot trust the public ability to intelligently vote in or out the right person, because groupthink is a very real threat, and people’s emotions are easily toyed with on a national scale.
If you still don’t see that a unilateral presidency is uncontrollable, and believe such a position is necessary, then I advise you to move to the nearest monarchy, junta or communist state, where lives are ruled by the very few or only one. You belong in a nation dependent upon the will and glory of a singular figure for your personal security. I don’t say this with malice, I simply point out that you don’t understand the beautiful symphony of spontaneous order, framed within a republic that protects the rights of minorities against the groupthink of a democratic majority. We are designed to safely express the will of the people through a slow-moving congress. It is for our protection that this progress is slow, not our detriment. Slow progress gives time for people to adapt to change, to input themselves into it, to help shape that change to best meet everyone’s needs, needs which may differ from community to community, and even from house to house.
No, my friends, it is not government we should hope upon for real change. Real change comes from people working individually with other people. With learning to love others regardless of culture or creed, gender or identity. It comes from embracing love as lifestyle. Government can do none of these things when populated by the corruptible and cronyist, and which can switch instantly at the inflammation of fear and groupthink.
It is up to you to decide that you no longer believe in government and support a reduction in its power. The challenge is not to let others infear you that without government, good cannot be made in this world. Let me assure you that people have been good to each other with or without government since the beginning of time. It is time to reduce our presidency to its rightful role as mere figurehead, to re-invest ourselves into legislating minimally while BEING the social change we preach, ourselves.
If we do not, the government will one day become its own society to promote and force upon its people, and that will be a day in which no common man, of any party, will ever want to live.