Home > B1, Learning > The Roles of Our President: Too Little or Too Much Authority?

The Roles of Our President: Too Little or Too Much Authority?

The course that our country takes, whether it is good or bad, is based off of the role that our President takes on. The United States is made up of many branches and parts such as the Judiciary, Legislative, and Executive branches. The politicians that work in these government branches, and the common citizens that work and run businesses, are the backbone of our country, but the President is what are country is judged by. The decisions, remarks, and actions by the President are constantly being judged by those inside and out of the United States, and it is these judgments that can allow or prevent our country from making strides to peace.

President Obama addressing the media

President Obama has the responsibility to maintain the status as the United States’ leader, and is forced to make important decisions at any time.  No one knows when our Commander-in-Chief will be called into action to make an address to the country or another country, but what we do know is that our President must be able to do it successfully. This has not always been this way though. The Founders of the Constitution wanted to make sure that an executive would not have too much power, so they put in checks to keep the power under control. Over the past century, however, the power of the executive power has expanded. With society and government evolving in the United States and the world, the President had no choice but to expand his role as a leader to continue to display his positive authority. To expand on this issue of the roles of the President, Cornell political scientist Clinton Rossiter, offers his views that a President must be willing to embrace the roles and power that comes with being President in order for the authority to be embraced correctly. In his work, The American Presidency, Rossiter explains the roles that he believes the roles of the President include Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, Chief Executive, World Leader, Chief Legislator, Protector of the Peace, Chief of State, Manager of Prosperity, Chief Diplomat, Voice of the People, and Chief of Party. While all are important roles of the President, my opinion is that the most important role is Commander-in-Chief because it deals with the safety and well being of the nation. The United States was founded on principles that guarantee the protection of citizens and their rights. Since these fundamentals are the backbone of the country, protecting them is essential. There is no better person to be in charge of these priorities than the person the country elects and trusts as their leader: the President. The role of Commander-in-Chief is most important to the people, and is the most important role of the President (Modern Presidential Roles).

President Obama congratulating military officers at banquet as Commander-in-Chief

This role is mainly associated with the category of military, and while the President has advisors and other politicians to help with running the nitty-gritty parts of government, this is a role that gives the President to make decisions, and no one else. Rossiter explains that, “ In peace and war he is the supreme commander of the armed forces, the living guarantee of the American belief in the supremacy of the civil over military authority” (Rossiter 201/1). In any time of war, the President has the call of where, when, and how many soldiers will be sent into battle, no matter the size, to defend the Constitution and our freedom. On the other side of this coin, the least important role of the President, in my opinion, is that of Chief of Party. This role seems to be less important because, it is just an obvious fact that requires minimal attention by the President himself. If the candidate that wins the election is a Democrat, it would only be logical that he his also the leader of the Democratic Party. While the President still controls the selection of other party leaders, serves as a motivator, the President also has many others people that help him in the running of the party, so the President may address other more important issues. Though the party of the President partakes in a major role in the government of the United States, it is not always fully on the shoulders of the President to make sure the party runs smoothly, but also along others who are appointed in the party to continue those duties. The role of the Chief of Party is just a small block in the foundation of the President’s duties that serves its own importance, but is the least important of all of his roles as President” (Modern Presidential Roles).

President Obama has the responsibility to keep the country under control

While this is still a necessary role to the President, it seems to slip in importance because is can be handled by other people besides the President, but nonetheless, the President must still make the, “selection of top party officials” (Rossiter 207/3).  While the President may not have the power to address all issues that may arise, the roles he does have suggests that most situations should fall under the place of at least one of them.President Obama has endured a traumatic presidency starting with the beginning of the recession, and most recently the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The roles that he has obtained by being the leader of our country has allowed him to make decisions and actions, with the help of others, to continue to persevere through it all. Only the continued usage of all of his roles can ensure that the United States is in proper form to face any obstacles that may arise in the country, and only a strong leader can be capable of managing/assessing the situation, and making the decisions that will continue to lead our country onward to liberty and freedom.

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