Consider something shared by a reader:
The Stand For America website asked readers, if they were president for a day, what their first executive order would be: Getting the most votes was “restoring traditional values to the classroom”. Another response was, “Enact a law requiring a balanced budget.” My reader and correspondent asked, “Don’t we already have that law somewhere in the bloated federal books? Why isn’t it enforced? Because we citizens like free money more than we want our nation to survive?”
The shocking thing about this is NOT what the readers wanted. Despite media claims and the rioters in the streets and the power-tripping, greedy politicians in DC, people want to restore some sanity. And many believe this wild ride of the last half century to be caused in large part by the public schools and a lack of personal responsibility exemplified by the massive spending of the welfare-warfare state.
No, the most shocking this is that these conservative readers, responding to this poll, believe that the President of the United States is so many things:
- A miracle worker: just a few of the right words can fix anything
- An emperor or other monarch who can order anything to be done
- A dictator or tyrant whose very word is law and will be obeyed by millions of people without question
- The Big Boss (even the Godfather) who manipulates and threatens other branches of government and everyone else under his control
It is not just the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania who is seen in this way, and not just Trumpistas or Right-wing fanatics who have this kind of warped “understanding.”
We saw exactly the same attitude towards the man who spent eight years in the White House (2009-2017), from a wide range of leftists, and many of the same people now raving in the streets. And it was clear that the supporters of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election believed this. As do the supporters of Joe Biden in this 2020 campaign.
It is obvious that both the “conservatives” and “progressives” which dominate politics in these Fifty States are likely to believe that once again in November of 2020, we will elect a “Massa” to sit in, and reign from, the White House. In fact, if not in theory.
The logic is frightening: all we need to do is elect the “right person” and all our problems will be over. He will do everything that needs to be done. That is the theme of the 2020 election: which Massa is going to do more for us.
Perhaps because for at least a century, with roots going back 160 years, the people of these Fifty States have been taught to believe that the guy in the White House IS the master of the “nation.” That not only (at least since WW2) is he the “most powerful man in the world” but he is annointed (by God or by the American people) to be that – that it is his destiny and his rightful place. And that ultimately, the Congress and the Courts and the States are accountable to him.
And even worse, that “we, the people” are also accountable to him. That he is a ruler and not a civil servant. And our primary governmental purpose, as the American electorate, is to elect him every four years. Elect him to be a dictator, a monarch. “Constitutional monarch,” perhaps? But still, someone chosen and given the power to be a boss, a bully. (Not just a bully pulpit.)
For me, it is a sickening thought. Truly sickening. I see this attitude even in my own family, despite the way we were raised and taught. I see this in my brothers and sisters in Christ, even though they understand the evils and weaknesses of government.
The Founding Fathers did not see it this way: otherwise, Washington would have been made king, no doubt followed by Hamilton and others with authoritarian ideas.
The only way we will get this idea, this attitude, changed is by teaching people the truth. Rejecting ideas that make government the solution to ANY problem, and that make those in government somehow an elite, deserving of power not given to “ordinary” people. We have begun that teaching process, we must continue and increase our teaching, our proclamation of the truth.
Does that sound like religion? It does, because the idea that POTUS can solve all these things, do all these things, is indeed a religious concept: it puts a man (and men) in the place of Deity. It is a religion that says that people can and must be subservient, subject, to other people. Only the truth can free them, and our Fifty States.