Throughout the second and third trimesters in government, I’ve heard a lot of emphasis on how voters must be well-informed so that the best decisions are made for our country. This is why candidates make commercials, Twitter accounts, and a personal website outlining their views, policies, and other blurbs about themselves in order to gain votes. With only a few short moments on a computer, you can know almost everything there is to know about a certain candidate. Voters are encouraged to learn about who they are voting for, but on top of that I believe there is more to be learned rather than simply a candidate’s biography. Being president is a very hard job, only few make the cut of being a truly great president. So we must ask, who makes the cut and how do we determine it? Americans must be able to define HOW the president runs the country, rather than simply stating so. This is necessary for voters to decide who would be best for the job.
According to political scientist Clinton Rossiter in his book The American Presidency, there are details about the job that many Americans may overlook. Rossiter outlines that one of the many roles of president is Chief Executive which ensures that the president “reigns, but also rules; he symbolizes the people, but also runs the government.” (197). One candidate may seem perfect for this role, but can we be sure that he is successful with the role of making ties and alliances, or Chief Diplomat, as well? All-encompassing questions like these are necessary in deciding a president that can help America out of it’s current turmoil.
Another tough call to make is the question whether or not the president can serve as the “Protector of Peace” and as the “Commander in Chief” and keep both in mind when making decisions related to war. According to Rossiter, both are crucial roles in a presidency. It’s a tough job with impossible decisions, which is why we must keep this in mind come voting day.
Americans must delve into the role of the president before deciding who should take the enormous job. If we do not do so, we may end up with a president that cannot serve his roles (outlined by Rossiter) dutifully and successfully. Much more must be taught about the modern presidency, rather than simply stalking presidential candidates.