By Nathan Barton
Well, actually, by Tom Knapp. Tom beat me to the punch this morning or last night by writing an EXCELLENT commentary about the way that The Donald is being treated by politicians and others at all levels and on all sides for visiting Pittsburgh to meet with families of victims after the Synagogue killings.
We have, as Tom points out in his well-chosen words, turned the Presidency into royalty. As in the Dark Ages, where the common people believed that the “king’s touch” would cure certain diseases, presidents (and their immediate family, often) are some kind of magical touchstone to give hope to people.
It is a fairly recent phenomenon. Tom mentions Harry Truman’s retirement in Independence. Ike Eisenhower (for all his faults) had a similar retirement in Gettysburg (even avoiding the way his birthplace Abilene, Kansas idolized him). But after the mystique of “Camelot” followed by the killing of JFK, the growth of both the royal and imperial presidency has been insane and amazing.
Americans supposedly gave up royalty (except for trips to England and Scotland and supermarket tabloids) way back in 1776 (or at least, 1783 when the Loyalists moved out). Of course, based on the soft spot Americans have for the House of Windsor (British royals), we already HAVE one royal family. We don’t need another one every four or eight years. And really, we don’t need one at all. Any more than we need a government, at least not the sick joke we have for one today.
Too much power has been concentrated into the White House. The adulation and demands of being a royal presence have followed. It is nothing new, again, as Tom points out. And it isn’t just the “public duties” of hospital visits and tours of disasters and grand signings in the Oval Office or Rose Garden. It is the growth of the Presidential Court, the power of the Executive branch as “officers of the Executive [monarch],” and the way the FedGov, especially the president and those who work for him “for the people,” that make this damaging and dangerous.
Take away the immoral, unconstitutional, insane power of the FedGov, and the issue goes away. Tom’s solution is to return the Oval Office to the routine of doing business for Congress and the People; that might work. On the other, so might the idea that the family in the White House is just another short-time-in-the-limelight set of celebrities like the Kardassians or JLo or Elvis. Indeed, much like The Donald was before he entered politics.