Friday, September 09, 2005

Presidential Power

Alright then, since the impetus of this site was political, let me start in that area. As I stated in my previous post, I am not an actively political person but I do have my thoughts on how I believe government should be run and how they should behave.

First of all, I am an American. As an American, I believe that the government is the people I am surrounded by, not an external entity that we have no control over. One thing that particularly irks me is the way many of my fellow Americans seem to think that the U.S. President is king of the United States. This notion is a slap in the face to the founding fathers, who were all too aware of the dangers of empowering one individual as leader, lawmaker, and judge. Even if you disagree with everything else I state, at least understand America is not a kingdom and has no king, queen, or royalty whatsoever. The people we elect are not any better than us or above the law or entitled to any freedom that any other American is entitled to. This being said, that means we have to get out of the habit of criticizing or condemning the president for everything that goes on. "The buck stops here" per Harry Truman was a gross misrepresentation of the duties of the president. He or she should never have that kind of power. Unfortunately, constant criticism of the president in seemingly every aspect of life sends a message that we understand the president to have virtually absolute power over our lives. I urge my fellow Americans to stop sending this message.

Obviously, I am referring to hurricane Katrina and am hearing how Bush should have done this and that. This is definitely not the only case of this, though and I am not just talking about Bush as it happened to Clinton as well and those before him. Going back to Katrina, I can't help but put the brunt of whatever blame must be placed on the local governments who, clearly were not ready to handle a disaster of any sized magnitude, let alone such a large one as this hurricane. Every region of this country has its own unique demographics, not to mention geography and geology. The responsibility for how to deal with the unique problems of a region lie on the local governments, not the federal government. As I live in Southern California, we have earthquakes and fires to deal with and it is up to the cities, counties, and state governments to be prepared on mobilizing fire and police departments and maintaining communication in the event of a major disaster. I'm not saying we're any better off than Louisiana, but I hope we are.

I want to state here that I am not a Bush supporter. In fact, my next post will deal with issues I have with him so I can set the record straight. My intention is to be as fair as possible.

1 comment:

Erik said...

Robert not sure if you remember but when we had the Northridge Earthquake here Fema was here and helping out that day. Not a day or two later like in Katrina. Red Cross had shelters in place again that day. Maybe due to the time of the quake (4:30 am or so if I recall) but they were more prepared for the quake then for Katrina