Voters should remember this
By Malachi Baggett
Every so many years the pendulum swings.
The public gets tired of one party and opts for another. Every four to eight years, the public gets to choose a new president. Candidates talk about the changes that they will make, laws they will set into place, and policies that will set the trend of it all.
However, the president is not supposed to have all the power that these candidates claim. In fact, presidents cross their constitutional boundaries all the time through executive orders and going around Congress. The role of the president is simply to enforce the laws that Congress puts into place, not make his own.
So when searching for a presidential candidate, what are the characteristics people look for? Well, what are the characteristics you look for? Most people pick the candidate that they agree with the most.
This pattern leads to something dangerous, the mere switching out of tyrants. People should not elect a president simply because they are going to make everyone else do what they want. People should elect a president that will uphold the constitution and enforce the laws that Congress puts into place.
The framers of the constitution put into place a great system. The group of people that made the laws would be a large group, split into two bodies. One body would be elected every two years, the other body six. The body elected every two years should respond more to voter concern and the whims of society, because they are up for re-election every two years. The body elected every six should take into consideration all the variables, balancing the lawmaking system. Once a law is put into place, the president then must enforce it or veto it. Once it is enforced, if the law is carried out and disobeyed, then it must go before the courts where judges study the law and determine if a person is guilty or not. The Supreme Court also should not make laws, but they are appointed, so it is harder to complain about them, so they can get away with it.
If you want to elect an official to change policy and law, then look to do it in your senator or congressman. If you are looking for someone to uphold the constitution and enforce the laws set forth by Congress, then do so in the president. The magician Penn Jillette said it best, “The president should have so little power that it does not matter who they are, instead of having so much power that it doesn’t matter who they are.”
Malachi Baggett is a senior political science major at the University of Mississippi. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.