Home > A1, Learning > “Individual Commitment to a Group Effort”

“Individual Commitment to a Group Effort”

The three branches of government were cleverly crafted by America’s founding fathers as a cooperative system that limits the power of the others to ensure the survival of democracy.  However, while the foundation of each branch remains, the interactions and power between them have somewhat changed, resulting in a gridlocked government.  In Article II, the Constitution specifically lists the the authority of Congress stating, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress,” but the powers of the president are less clear.  Early presidents treaded lightly in their powerful positions, taking care not to be overbearing or institute fear within the American people of a potential monarchy threat.  America had just been freed from such a controlling government that the president, along with the other branches, were weary of being too controlling.

“Scarred by memories of war with King George III, most of the 56 Founding Fathers wanted to create a weak central leader,” so when the Constitution was written, it was purposefully vague in its description of presidential powers.  Article II states that “the executive power shall be vested in a President.”  Over the years, the looming threat of a monarchy has been outgrown, and the range of presidential powers has expanded.  The ambiguity of presidential powers has evolved into an unequal distribution of power between the branches of government.  Presidents have more consistently followed the stewardship model of leadership, “A theory of robust, broad presidential powers; the idea that the president is only limited by explicit restrictions in the Constitution” (Choices 215).  This unequal power has caused a war between the legislative branches and the president, creating a dysfunctional government.

There is a lack of communication and willingness to work together between the President and Congress.  It is as if they are playing on two opposing teams, not together as the engine running the greatest nation in the world.  The solution will come from a balance of powers.  When the President is more involved and works with Congress, the decision doesn’t become a war where when one side wins, and the other loses, but a mutual decision that compromises both opinions for the best of the nation.  That is not to say that

The ideology or framework of our government organized power, but when power tries to runaway from the system no one wins.

the members of both don’t currently reach out to compromise, but a change must to be made, not to the process, but to how the process is carried out.  The constitution originally established the three branches of government to limit the powers of each, and create a cooperative system in which no branch would gain more power than the other, but this intention has beenlost in the struggle for power and control.  The President, the most powerful individual in the nation, is only as powerful as the bond between him and Congress.  The president and congress should not be fighting each other, for they represent the same team that is America.  As Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”  Individual commitment is great, but if it’s not directed toward a group effort, it creates a stagnant government.


  1. govemilys
    May 1, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Wow Katherine. Your post is great! It is very cohesive and you answered each question that came into my head along the way. For example, when you were discussing the lack of communication between the President and Congress, the first question that popped into my head was, “What’s the solution then?” In the following line I found the answer. This made it extremely easy for the reader to understand the topic and not have to go back and reread any segments. Your pictures were also very nicely placed, I didn’t have to go searching for them and they were appealing to look at. However, for those who aren’t as good as interpreting cartoons, like me, might like to hear a short interpretation of the picture from you perspective. Overall, very thorough post!

  2. brookieh13
    May 1, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Hey Katherine!! Your post was very well written. I am very impressed with the quality of your writing. Your title is very creative, and I love the political cartoon! However, I agree with Emily when she said that “for those who aren’t as good as interpreting cartoon, like me, might like to hear a short interpretation of the picture from your perspective.” Honestly though, I have no other critique because this your post is so good!! well done katherine!!

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