PSA: The presidency is not important.
Now before my colleagues and friends sharpen their pitchforks, get up their back and rail in the comments — and now that I have your full attention — allow me to rephrase.
The American Presidency is not as important as you think.
We are barely a full month into the Trump Presidency and in these four weeks and change what’s happened? We’ve seen one of the least qualified, wealthiest and conflict-of-interests ridden cabinets in recent memory pass through Congress with ease, despite general concerns about their qualifications and ability to assume the roles. (Sorry, Dems. Your resistance has been valiant, but in the end, these folks got the appointments)
We’ve seen pieces of evidence continue to crop up that high-level folks both during the campaign and after the inauguration were in cahoots with Russia — and then nothing in the way of investigations take place. We’ve watched a president who, in the first four and a half weeks of his presidency, has committed acts of aggression to the press and citizens in a way that could be argued as unconstitutional. We’ve watched an unprecedented high-level resignation happen in the form of Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser — with hardly any traction for a true investigation.
This laundry list of incredible things that have happened since January 20th continues to grow, and you know who has aided, abetted, and allowed for them at every turn? Congress.
The ridiculous crock of shit happening in the highest Executive office in the nation is astonishing, no doubt, but it distracts us from what is actually happening. We have Congress that, when faced with a decision between protecting human and civil rights or all Americans and bowing to a strange orange overlord, they choose the latter every time. Impeachment hearings have happened with less evidence and less standing — and the fact that probable cause of actual treason has not inspired our Representatives and Senators to take action is beyond astonishing — it’s sickening.
This week town halls have been happening in during the recess period when senators and congresspeople are home in their districts. If you’re like me and live in districts represented by Republicans, you maybe have experienced this alarming set of issues:
- few town halls available, likely at inaccessible times and places for average people
- town hall events that are “paid” or “rsvp” events, keeping other constituents from being allowed inside
- congresspeople and senators refusing to answer questions they don’t like
- heavy police presence
- refusal to speak with peaceful opposition who ask questions
This is troubling on a multitude of levels, but one very deep an sinister one most of all in my opinion — our congresspeople do not only represent the “winners” of elections. Especially in close elections, which most are these days, the difference between winning an election and losing one is only a few percentage points. There is an increasing effort made by our elected officials to put themselves into echo chambers and only hear the questions that are “easy” to answer because then they don’t have to deal with the nasty business of opposition and dissent. Unfortunately for them, American was built on opposition, dissent, compromise, and a coalition of differing voices.
So no, the presidency is not that important. Sure the office sets an agenda and has executive powers, but our legislative branch maintains a lot of checking power over the executive branch — checking power that is going completely unused during a time when it is not only appropriate but incumbent of them to exercise it. Congress is shirking some of their most important duties to check the presidency, and to what end? Money? Power? Fame? Congresspeople should know these things are fleeting. They should also be so very afraid of us, the voters. In fact, I think they already are, given recent behavior. We, as voting citizens, have the power to change Congress. They do work for us, and they can be fired by us.
So ask yourself — are you in a district whose congresspeople are behaving like this? If you are, I’d recommend tucking that in your memory for November 2018.