Friday, July 13, 2012

Prez-o-dent / schmez-o-dent

I've been working since before I graduated high school. That would be somewhere in the mid/late 1970's. My first paying job was back when Jimmy Carter was president and I'm still a long way from retirement. I've seen a lot of so-called "change" over that time, but I'm still confused by all the talk about how much impact a "new" president has on the American public. I hear a lot of fuss about it. TV ads, radio ads. Coffee room chatter.


Explain this please?

What impact does a US president really have?  Really.  I mean: seriously. Ok. So he can nominate a Supreme Court justice on occasion, but that's still not an appointment. The nomination has to be vetted and approved by others.

Then there's the talk about Executive Orders. But when you look over the EO history, it's really not that impressive or impactful. There's really nothing sexy there at all, and Executive Orders can be reversed.

So, I am still confused by the focus on how much impact a "new" president really has.

Can they control the economy?  No.
Can they control medical breakthroughs?  Not directly.
Can they control gasoline prices?  No.
Can they control who wins American Idol?  No.

I have to say, in all my years of working, I have never seen, or experienced any meaningful or significant "change" in my job, income, career opportunities, family life or social activities as a direct result of voting in a new president. Never. I didn't see any real change in my life under Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., or Obama. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nil. If you blindfolded me, put me in a time machine back to anywhere from 1976 until now, hid all the calendars, and asked me who the president is, I doubt I would know. Maybe by style and fashion, or tv shows I could guess, but certainly not by any meaningful criteria.

I have seen "change" as a result of overturn in Congress and Senate however. Oh yes. That I have seen. In fact, I have seen more "change" from local city elections than I ever have from a federal election.

Basically, in my humble view, the role of the US president is nothing more than a mouthpiece and figurehead. The news media has done a great job of programming the public into believing that the president can really invoke "change" without others involved.  It's like they have some magic wand, or magic crystal ring.  Sha-zam!  Instant Recession cure.  Instant job creation.  Instant insurance fix.  Instant Gitmo closure.  Instant terrorism fix.  Ho ho ho.  Keep wishing.

It's amazing. It's like we've forgotten everything we learned in elementary school. I shouldn't be surprised.

So. I ask you to do one thing: stop and think about each time you've experienced a change of presidential leadership in America, what exactly did you see "change" in your immediate life as a result? Not in the general public. Not on TV.  Not what your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and relatives blabbered about.  I  mean: in YOUR immediate life. And then, if you can even think of one thing, can you absolutely pin that on the president? Or was it really something that actually came from Congress or the Senate?

Each time I hear an ad that says "what will the first 100 days of a president (dipshit-asswipe) administration be like?" and they start off on listing all the "change" that will happen, I call BULLSHIT. I don't care who that president is. They simply seek to take credit for whatever their cronies in Congress and Senate can push into law. The role has become nothing more than a PR platform.

And in case you're wondering: yes, I have consumed a few beers in the past hour or two. None of which were less than 10% ABV, but it was all for a good cause: Me. ;)

Just another random thought.
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