Help! The president’s not solving all of my problems for me.

June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

A GUEST ON THE May 6 Media Matters program with Bob McChesney expresses dismay that people don’t feel that sanguine about what the president is “doing for them.” Well, perhaps because the president isn’t really supposed to do much at all. He’s not supposed to solve all your problems, hold your hand, wipe away your tears and tuck you into bed each night with a nice bedtime story. But what with the cult of the presidency we’ve all grown up in, people can’t really be faulted for believing the president can do it all for us.

The reality is, the main thing we should demand of a president of these united States is that he not run around making problems for us. As for positive action, he’s only constitutionally tasked with running a bare-bones apparatus to deal mainly with foreign relations. He’s supposed to assume command of the State militia and of the navy when such is duly given him by the Congress during a time of actual and legitimately declared war. And, he’s to carry out a few other administrative tasks, again defined for him  via Congressional legislation. That’s it. He’s not there to be our Dear Leader, our spiritual guru or inspiration, our daddy, our savior. Least of all is it his job to be King of the Planet.

Looking t0 some stranger in an Imperial City far off to solve your problems is the height of foolishness. Yet the reluctant recognition of this isn’t enough, for we still fund and empower the president and the Congress as if they could fix everything. No, they can’t!

We can, yes — if we’ll take back that power we’re currently giving away, and deposit it in a place where we can actually touch it and utilize it — to to reach our own goals and solve our own problems in the ways we choose.

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