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Monday, February 15, 2016

What Do I Expect of a President?

Since power in the US is shared in many ways (executive, legislative, judicial on the federal level and variously on the state and local levels), I do not expect the president to wield by fiat all handles of power (not to mention economic and social power).  I do not expect nor do I want this. If a president can accomplish three major new programs, I feel that the president has accomplished about as much as one can expect in eight (or four!) years. Let us not fool ourselves, a single term of four years is a flash-in-the-pan blur in which to realize major objectives.

So when I vote for a presidential candidate, I not only vote for a few specific programs, but I suppose one can say my major intent is to signify to all comers that I agree with the basic rhetoric, ideas, and dreams of the candidate; that is, I am most comfortable with the candidate’s style and persona which combined extends significance light-years beyond any one or two specific programs.  I am signifying to the world the America I would like to see not just in a few years, but the America of my cherished dreams.

This might seem odd or grandiose, but it’s not at all.  I feel the same way about many who fill “lesser” roles.  I have a friend that washes dishes for a living.  I would hire him in an instant because he does the work of three people.  But more than that, he represents the character and entrepreneurial spirit I admire.  So it’s not only a question of can he do the job, but in what spirit he does it and what big dreams inspire him?  

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