The framers of our constitution didn’t give the Executive Branch a lot of power. Having just thrown a monarchy out of the western hemisphere, members of Congress were a little twitchy about giving a single person too much control. In fact, according to Article II, the only power a sitting President has is to grant pardons, appoint judges (with congressional approval), convene congress, sign or veto bills (under judicial review and can be overturned by Congress), and once a year has to deliver the State of the Union Address.
Globally, the President has a bit more elbow room. He/she is Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, writes treaties, assigns and receives ambassadors, and is the symbol of our nation to the rest of the world. It was quietly agreed George Washington was the unanimous choice for our first President and Congress wanted a general who is as comfortable taking orders as he/she is giving them.
Wall-building, immigration law, and tax breaks for the rich were supposed to be problems for the Congress to handle.
The President does have the power to sign or veto laws passed by Congress, which is quite a sticking point when the rabble is roused, but he/she is technically unseated every four years, and can even be impeached by Congress for anything from fraud (Nixon) to fellatio (Clinton). The people will, can, and do have their say.
Obviously the Two Party System (which Washington was vehemently against) has turned the Congress into a dumpster fire of idealogical conflict fueled by corporate lobbyists, gerrymandering, and the desire to make Jesus a patriot.
Big money, big money, big money . . . . all whammies.
Each party has to wait until the other implodes for anything to happen. When the Democrats lose the south because of civil rights, hello Nixon. When the Republicans lose all grip on reality because of Fox News, hello Barack Obama.
Because of this schism, it’s been the task of the President to clean up the mess like a single mom who comes home from a double shift and still has to pick up the living room. Pray that she doesn’t step on any Legos.
We’d like to think of the President as the “Leader of the United States of America”, but he/she is not. Congress is responsible for the domestic agenda. POTUS is in charge of the foreign one.
The U.S. President is the “Leader of the Free World.”
And that is a super-important distinction.
Because THE WORLD, and not the Texas border, is on the edge of global disaster.
Right now OPEC is increasing oil production, which is great for you SUV owners, but is destabilizing the entire Russian economy. The last time that happened . . . they invaded Afghanistan (and look how well that turned out). Right now they’ve annexed Crimea, have armed conflicts with several former soviet countries, and are openly supporting a Syrian Regime who have been guilty of self-genocide.
The Chinese economy, which has been built on the accounting principles of ENRON, is in the process of taking a nose dive, which is threatening our own stock market, and based on population studies is a ticking time bomb for all out war. (population/war site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781832/)
The Islamic State (whatever the hell they’re called) is sweeping up every acre of sand it can get its hands on throughout Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and probably some parts of Australia that even the Aussies think is too hot and sticky.
Our new buddy Iran is already threatening Saudi Arabia, I can continue with European problems, and I haven’t even begun to disseminate what’s going on in the Southern Hemisphere, but let us end there.
The point is that the next President is going to be facing more than a dumpy Ted Cruz and a shrill Pelosi.
When we consider our next President we need to understand we’re considering who we want standing between China and India, who we want as a level-headed voice when Putin invades Uzbekistan, who we want in the room when Iran and Israel have lunch. Which one of the candidates can annihilate an Islamic State while supporting Muslims? Who is going to protect American soil when the first foreign nuclear bomb is detonated in anger?
The next POTUS should help guide us, but domestic policy is OUR job.
There’s a much bigger world out there . . . and that’s the President’s job.