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Eleven Reasons I Could Not Be President

June 30, 2016

President

Since everyone has been asking, I thought I would address this issue head-on:

“No. I will not seek, nor will I accept, my party’s nomination for President of the United States.”

There. “But, why not?” you ask. Here are eleven reasons:

  1. I would move the capital from Washington, D.C., and turn Washington into a monument city. I have two ideas. One is that I would move the capital to a central location in the U.S., like St. Louis, or a suburb. The other idea is that I would “rotate” the capital around. Each year, a city would have an opportunity to host the Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch. We’d have a central base-operation (like St. Louis), but in this electronic age, there’s no reason the federal government couldn’t be made more accessible to the people (who are actually the government).
  2. I would strip the federal government down to only constitutional responsibilities: if it’s not in the U.S. Constitution, the federal government would not do it. Period. State and local governments would be empowered to do what the Constitution asks them to do.
  3. I would transfer significant power back to the states. There was a time when someone identified more with their state than with the U.S. We still see vestiges of this, I think, in the loyalty fostered by state universities and locally-based sports teams. I believe people are most loyal to places and people with whom they have a shared experience. This is why people feel disconnected to the federal government – and, maybe, more importantly, why the federal government is dysfunctionally detached from people outside the “beltway.”
  4. I could not, and would not, lead federal troops into war. I am an unashamed and unapologetic pacifist. The president is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. It simply wouldn’t work.
  5. I would work diligently for a Constitutional amendment limiting terms of senators and representatives. To be consistent, I would only do this via a Constitutional amendment. At the same time, the founders did not want a permanent, professional government – a “House of Lords.” The vision was for a government of the people, by the people (I know, Lincoln said it, not Washington). But we have created two Houses of Lords, a ruling elite. It’s time for that to go.
  6. I would make proceedings of the Supreme Court completely public including television other openness measures. There is no good reason that the public doesn’t have access to the proceedings of the Supreme Court. A little light shed in the court might eliminate some of the darkness that goes on there.
  7. I would return the State of the Union address to a written document delivered to congress not a nationally televised speech. This is how it used to be. No pontificating president, thumping his chest for a national audience. Simply a report on how things are going. The Constitution requires it, but it does not require the showmanship and bravado that has become the State of the Union.
  8. I would reset and restrict the use of Executive Orders to only things required for administering the Executive Branch. There would no longer be any Executive Orders impacting anything to do in the states. I would rescind all Presidential Executive Orders made by presidents before my term. The president executes the law, he does not make the law. (Except I might issue an executive order allowing people to go anywhere they want to barefoot, but it wouldn’t be consistent with anything else I’m saying, so I probably wouldn’t. 🙂 )
  9. I would eliminate all trappings of a monarchial president: no ceremonial flags, no ritual dinners, no palaces (like the White House) for presidents to live in, etc. I would eliminate most housing benefits for Senators and Representatives, requiring them to live in such housing like the mean standard of living of the average American (in the new capital city). They can keep a private home in their own district, but while they’re doing the peoples’ work, they should live like “the people.”
  10. Special honors given to individuals by the president would no longer be given. They would be made by the Congress and made by a representative vote of the Congress. The executive is not a monarch, bestowing honors and titles and other beneficences on his subjects. While these honors have merit, and many of the honorees to this point are certainly deserving, is it really the role of the president to do this? Aren’t we just a step away from dubbing people into an artificial construct like knighthood? Wouldn’t an honor given on behalf of the people be more suitable?
  11. Trade agreements internationally would be made by individual states not by the federal government. The only free trade agreement states would be obligated to participate in are those that regulate interstate trade in the Constitution. The economic welfare of the states would be dependent of their participation in the international economy on their own. This would foster greater independence on the part of the states and it would create greater need for local business, education, and trades institutions to step up to the plate.

This is why I could not be president.

 

 

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