On this Presidents Day I wanted to ponder the question, What do we expect of an American president?
I believe the first item to consider is simply, What qualifications do we expect a president to possess?
The 2012 election cycle demonstrated that even in the midst of a terrible economy, a candidate with private sector business was somehow unacceptable. Acceptable was a person who possessed no private sector business experience and had taken a bad economic situation and exacerbated it.
So are qualifications no longer necessary?
Are America’s expectations for a president now relegated to artful speech and cosmetic flair? Have we truly succumbed to the reality TV mentality so completely that presidential elections are simply a political version of "American Idol"?
The 20th president of these United States, James Garfield, stated, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature . . . If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
I can’t find fault with a single word! Centuries earlier, Plato succinctly summed it up: “Those who refuse to participate in politics shall be governed by their inferiors.”
President Garfield’s quote was aimed at Congress, but it is every bet as applicable for president. And here is the concern. Have we become a nation so devoid of character that we are willing to accept abhorrent behavior and questionable character?
If Americans, through our votes, demonstrate they do not care about principles, values, character or integrity, then it’s our own fault we have the president we deserve.
What are our expectations of a president?
Have Americans become so lazy that we do not care to pursue the truth, or even want to know it? It is even possible to know any truth at all?
A massive liberal media propaganda machine manipulates the message to serve its own ends, going out of its way to obscure the truth.
We live in an Orwellian world where “In a time of universal deceit, truth becomes a revolutionary act.” So, when our president states the same lie 33 times which is in fact named 2013 Lie of the Year, the complicit media outlets reframe it as “misspeaking.”
What are we to think when our president refers to an incident resulting in the deaths of an American ambassador and three other Americans as a phony scandal? Even worse, what is our recourse when the president, after knowing the truth, continues to perpetuate the lie attributing an Islamic jihadist attack to a “spontaneous demonstration” because of a crude anti-Islam video?
What are our expectations of a president and our nation?
Do Americans fully understand the system of checks and balances, separation of powers, and coequal branches of government as promoted in our Constitution? When a president declares he will take unilateral actions in lieu of legislation and is applauded by members of Congress, do we now have an imperial executive and not a president at all?
Patrick Henry said, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
But I submit Americans have so lowered our expectations and understanding that we will sacrifice the Constitution and our liberty to the whims of one person. Is being led by a near-tyrant more important than the existence of our constitutional Republic simply because of his skin color?
Should the president now be the grantor of our unalienable rights? The seminal words enshrined in the Declaration of Independence stated those rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness emanated from our creator, not man. Do we now believe the president replaces our creator as the guarantor of happiness?
Are we so depraved that we’ll sit back and accept the largesse of the government, issued as the pittance from the president, rather than work hard and earn for ourselves? We must never forget Thomas Jefferson’s words: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take it away.”
What are the expectations for our president? In the past five years, very low indeed for Barack Hussein Obama, something of which he is evidently well aware. In every aspect, he is allowed to say and do as he wishes with impunity. He does so realizing Americans’ low knowledge, interest and expectations, combined with the aiding and abetting of the liberal progressive media, will keep him in power, ruling by edict, rather than governing by competence and leadership.
Well, congratulations to the progressive socialists. They have been able to advance their agenda faster than we ever thought possible behind the gimmick of the first black president. Progressives knew the Americans’ expectations for what their president would achieve were far less important than his “historic election.” The nation fell for it. And sadly, Republicans have been unable to convince the electorate that expectations must be raised.
A great American president we remember today said, If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.
I believe we will be the author of our destruction because we have so lowered our expectations of what our president — and our nation — should be.
Allen West was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. He is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. West served as a U.S. representative for Florida’s 22nd District. He is a Fox News contributor and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. He also regularly writes for numerous media outlets. For more of Allen West's reports, Go Here Now.
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