Sunday, June 24, 2012

Liberty, Justice and Despotism?

             Now, I know that there are a good deal of ways to misconstrue what will follow in this next essay, so just bear with me and save any judgment until you have actually read the essay in its entirety. Let me state once and for all that I am not a fascist; some have in the past labeled me as such for the views that I have posed, or rather have toyed with and debated. The views I present in this essay are just one alternative to the current system which I, like many Americans, view to be corrupt and broken.
             I feel as though, at current, the United States of America could use a healthy dose of despotism. At this point I know you’re all jumping back and screaming, "No!" Just hold on a moment, and let me explain. What I propose is nothing like fascism. What I propose is still a democracy. However, the executive office in this case would be given a good deal more power than what it already has. Mostly he or she would be able to rule by decree if need be (there you go, that's the despotism, not so bad is it? What's that you say? Keep reading then). This would allow the chief executive to take control of a situation without having to deal with Congress. Now you jump back and say “But that’s what lets things like genocide happen!” For this I propose that the Constitution would remain the supreme law of the land and that the president/despot/dictator (whatever you want to call him or her) would be accountable for his actions in office and would be subject to the same term limits that the president is subject to now. If for some reason the president were to pass some sort of law that violated the Constitution, it would be subject to the same sort of judicial review. Of course, it goes without saying that the president, along with Congress, would be elected by popular vote of the people.
            So what’s the point of having a legislative body? I’m glad you asked. See, the president’s job isn’t to make laws; he can if he needs to. The legislative body would still be able to pass laws and even override the president’s veto.
            Well, who controls the army? Whoever does is really in power. A system much like what is in place now would be the case for this new government. The chief executive would have supreme command only in time of war and of course only Congress could declare war.
            This is where the liberalism comes in. It doesn’t seem that such a government would be very liberal. There is, however, room for liberalism. I won’t get into what I believe are the do’s and don’ts of a society, but things such as gay marriage (civil unions, at least) or Alice Paul’s Equal Rights Amendment would be allowed to exist at last. This would be facilitated by the president’s ability to make these things law without having to muck about in Congress.
            Now that the parameters and details of this new government are laid out, a case needs to be made for such a government. America is at a crucial point in her history; Congress is particularly inept at doing just about anything. Reasoning for a semi-autocratic government comes with the realization that Congress has just about ceased to function and if there were a national emergency the president would be able to handle the issue much more easily and succinctly. Public education in the United States, for instance, is nowhere near where it should be in terms of quality; if the president had the power to rule on such matters without having to go through all the bureaucracy, that would ultimately result in nothing positive. Instead more gridlock would be found. Americans are sick of their representatives. Regardless of party, the people of this country don’t believe they are being served in a manner that dignifies the true beliefs. There is far too much finger pointing in Washington. With a system such as this, the United States would still be a democracy. Liberalism would still be present and things could get done much easier and the people would be happier.
            Now that all is said and done, what do you think? Could despotism—if you could even call it that—be beneficial to America? I realize there are certainly flaws to my proposal, but, given our current situation, perhaps it is time to start looking for answers in a new way.


Maybe the bit about "Liberty and justice for all" could finally be true 

-Grant  


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