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Article > Personal beliefs and the presidency
Description :: Do representatives get elected to do what they want, or to do what we want?
Earlier today I came across a reference to Kerry's view of abortion: he's against it personally, but would appoint judges who would uphold previous court decisions supporting abortion.

I find that terribly interesting. Here we are (perhaps) electing a president who would appoint judges to a court which has, in the past, supported a position he disagrees with personally, and consider as part of the requirements that those judges uphold past court decisions rather than his own views. We elect a president more directly than we do supreme court judges, yet past decisions would stand despite our vote apparently to the contrary? Why would we elect someone who isn't willing to push his ideas, the campaign platform for which he was elected? (Note: I'm ignoring that bit where most of us voting for Kerry will do so mostly because of Bush. It's a really sad state of affairs, but hey, ignore that.) Yet we should be happy someone wants to respect the ideal of separation of powers in our government: the president should give power to the courts to enforce the laws decided by our legislature, rather than try to push his own laws instead. Besides, we elect a president for so many reasons, how should he know which of those reasons should be acted upon immediatly and forcefully? Maybe he was elected simply for his good looks, and his agenda doesn't matter to us?

I have to say, I actually like the idea of a president willing to lead a nation he disagrees with, being the best administrator he can without trying to push against our decisions. In a democracy, we're supposed to have the opportunity to be wrong, en masse, and get away with it. (Or right, for that matter.) We don't elect presidents so they can mess that up, methinks.

It's something to look forward to, but don't get your hopes up. A president who obeys the people too much isn't remembered for long -- it's boring, often leads to bad decisions, and makes him look like a pansy. Pansy presidents aren't remembered. Presidents aren't generally shy people. Do the math.

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Owned by Unordained - Created on 06/22/2004 - Last edited on 01/30/2005

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