If I ran for President
The number of people running for President of the United States increases by the day. Most of them have one thing in common: their proposals depend on Congress passing them. But we know that what is “promised” on the campaign trail becomes a lie after Congressional deals are made.
I’m generally repulsed by such candidates. Telling voters “I am capable of getting my way in Congress, unlike all of my predecessors,” insults one’s intelligence. It’s wishful thinking. It’s silly.
What Presidential candidates can and should do is announce what they will do with their power as President. It all begins with this: “I do solemnly affirm that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
As I’ve written, I’m not a fan of the Constitution. Many see it as a protection of liberty, but what it really provides is a process for war and oppression. If I ran for President, however, I promise I would abide by this affirmation in my duties as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, chief law-enforcement officer and executive, and top diplomat.
I would end the wars. I would notify Congress that the goals of the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force against the 9/11 terrorist organization, and the 2002 Iraq Resolution, have been met, because they WERE met many years ago, and no Congressional authorization exists for any other combat operations.
I would tell Congress no further military deployments or combat operations will be made without Congressional declaration. In the event of an attack, I’d convene Congress to address the matter. Even if they’re in recess, it can be assembled within 24 hours in the modern world.
I would notify Congress that my duty to protect the Constitution and its Bill of Rights will lead to a review of law-enforcement and security procedures regarding searches and seizures. I would end civil asset forfeiture in the absence of a criminal conviction and would, as best as the law allows, withhold federal funds from state and local government that engage in the practice.
I would render the TSA baggage and personal inspections inoperative because they violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. You shouldn’t be searched without cause.
I would pardon non-violent drug felons, and review a lot more non-violent cases.
Through Executive Order, I would suspend the “rule-making” authority of federal agencies as an unconstitutional breach of the Separation of Powers. Congress alone should write the laws.
I would use prosecutorial discretion; I would give guidelines to the Justice Department and law enforcement agencies in other departments to prioritize:
- Crimes enumerated in the Constitution, or violence or fraud in interstate commerce.
- Crimes that are actual crimes, that is, crimes with the intent to injure others.
And, finally, as a matter of form, I would affirm that the Presidency is a job and not a national symbol. The President is not your leader unless you work for the federal government.
I would end most of the ceremonial stuff, which has kind of suffered a blow under Donald Trump anyway. Why should winning a championship in a sport entitle one to a visit to the White House? Why dispense Presidential Medals of Freedom, funded by taxpayers, to my lackeys and financial backers? It’s offensive.
And, I’d promise to use all the amenities and security already provided at the White House and Camp David. I won’t use more taxpayer money to pay for travel unless absolutely necessary. I won’t inconvenience thousands of others by going to a ballgame. I won’t inconvenience a neighborhood by taking a limo to a podcaster’s house. If there are “summits” with foreign leaders in the U.S., they’ll be in D.C. or Camp David.
I can do all of this without needing a law from Congress. I can do all of this without infringing on anyone’s liberty. In fact, all of this would be done to restore everyone’s liberty, with no increase in Presidential power.
That’s the kind of platform I’d run on: not “What I promise Congress will pass,” but rather “What I can do, with the powers the Presidency already has.”
And it’s the advice I’d give every candidate. Promise the things you can deliver as President, and don’t run on things you want Congress to pass.