Executive orders, undeclared wars, drone hits, assassination of citizens and non-citizens alike, the overthrow of foreign regimes, domestic spying, the abetting of known criminal activities through pardons, economic planning, opening borders, monetary manipulations are just some of the nefarious activities that routinely emanate from the most dangerous political office that the world has ever painfully come to know – the United States Presidency!
The U.S. presidents can and have created a veritable “hell on earth” for their opponents, perceived enemies, and the innocent not only in the country in which they reign, but over the lives and fortunes of peoples and places where they have absolutely no authority to interfere. While other chiefs of state have theoretically had such power, U.S. presidents have been able to inflict their destruction and chaos because, paradoxically, the nation’s free-market system, for a long time, created immense wealth which could be tapped into.
The tyrannical nature of the presidency was recognized long ago by those politically perspicacious men who opposed both the office and the draconian document which created it. Few groups in history have been so vindicated for their foreboding as those who vainly argued against the ratification of the United States Constitution than the Antifederalists.
“An Old Whig”* aptly sums up the damage that would come about if the Constitution was ratified and the office of president would come into being:
. . . the office of President of the United States appears to me
to be clothed with such powers as are dangerous. To be the
fountain of all honors in the United States, commander in chief
of the army, navy and militia, with the power of making treaties
and of granting pardons, and to be vested with an authority to
put a negative upon all laws, unless two thirds of both houses
shall persist in enacting it, . . . .**
An Old Whig saw that the president would become a “king” but without the natural and binding checks that even the most absolutist of monarchs were restrained by:
[The president] is in reality to be a KING as much a King
as the King of Great Britain, and a King too of the worst
kind; – an elective King. . . . The election of a King
whether it be in America or Poland, will be a scene of
horror and confusion; and I am perfectly serious when
I declare that, as a friend to my country, I shall despair
of any happiness in the United States until this office
is either reduced to a lower pitch of power or made
perpetual and hereditary.***
One of the Federalists’ counterarguments to the Antifederalists’ concern over the presidential office was the widely held assumption that George Washington would become the new Republic’s first chief executive and the general knowledge of his impeccable character would assuage those worried of potential executive overreach. Such a lame response neglected to look into the future when the office’s huge potentiality for despotism would be sought after and won by those who had less upstanding personal traits than the father of the country.
The growing decentralized political movements throughout the world with, for instance, the hopefully upcoming British exit from the European Union, can only be enhanced if the office of the president and, for that matter, all other nation state’s chief executives are exposed as tyrannical institutions which are anathema to individual liberty and collective self-determination. Presidents, premiers, chancellors, prime ministers, and their like along with central banking are the two nefarious pillars of power of the modern nation state whose continued existence guarantees perpetual war and economic regression.
In this seemingly interminable presidential election cycle, populist, libertarians, conservatives, and all sorts of anti-Establishment types are delusional if they believe the totalitarian direction in which the country is now headed will be reversed through elections or choosing the “right” candidate. “Making American Great Again” will only come about when the chief executive office and the statist document that created it have been repudiated.
Prior to the presidency’s abolition, its ideological justification must be first debunked. There is no finer place to start for this most necessary task to take place than in the dissemination of the perceptive and enduring words of the much neglected Antifederalists.
*Probably penned by a group of Philadelphia Antifederalists – George Bryan, John Smilie, James Hutchinson and maybe others. See, John P. Kaminski & Richard Leffler, eds., Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution. Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House Publishers, 1989, p. 18.
**Ibid., p. 86.