A question is often raised in today’s politics, “Is the President of the United States too powerful?” Many people will defend both sides of this argument based on their political beliefs. In government class the past two trimesters, all students have developed their own opinion on the question presented. There is a big bias factor that plays into this because many students are Republican or just oppose President Barack Obama. For this bias reason, many of my classmates would say, “Yes, the President of the United States is in fact way too powerful!” Another question that could be raised because of the biasness is, “What if it was not Obama in office? Would the President then have too much power?” These questions along with other Presidential responsibilities will be debated frequently in the up coming months leading up to the Presidential election in November.
This question of too much power has also changed since our Founding Fathers first outlined the responsibility of the presidency. The Founding Fathers deliberately set up a system of government that relies on the tension of preserving a series of checks and balances that are vital to its success. We have learned these past two trimesters in class what the requirements are to qualify to run for President and the jobs once elected President. To run for President, one must be at least 35 years of age, be a native-born American citizen, and had lived in the United States for 14 years. Also, once elected, it is the primary duty of the President to make sure all United States laws are carried out and that the federal government is run effectively. Many United States citizens today do not realize that the importance of the jobs that are required by the President. We read in class an excerpt of Clinton Rossiter’s, The American Presidency, which showed us Rossiter’s ten roles of modern presidents. These ten roles consist of Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief, Chief of State, Protector of the Peace, Chief of Party, The Voice of the People, World Leader, Chief Diplomat, Chief Legislator, Manager of Prosper. All of the roles that involve the President of the United States are of great importance to the executive branch as well as the citizens of America.
The modern day Presidential roles are very different from past Presidential roles and they continue to change. The roles of the President have dramatically changed in that the President has and continues to gather different responsibilities in which he is not responsible for, according to our founding fathers. Due to the way America and its society are shaped today, the President of the United States is forced to take on new jobs in which he was not signed up to do. In accepting these new responsibilities, we as Americans must ask ourselves again, “is the President of the United States too powerful?”
It is in my belief that the President of the United States is too powerful. According to a survey, Scott Rasmussen says, “75 percent of Republicans believe the federal government has too much power over the states while a plurality of Democrats (37 percent) believe the balance is about right. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 50 percent say the federal government has too much influence while 11 percent say not enough.” This survey supports my belief that the President of the United States in fact has to much power. I believe that the President’s main purpose is to protect and serve the people. However, with the many responsibilities that the President is faced with it is hard for the President to focus on protecting and serving the people.
Voter participation is the most important factor in elections. After learning about this topic in Government class this trimester, I feel more compelled to discuss this important issue. No voter participation means no votes, and without votes, the candidates cannot represent the voice of the people. The voice of the people is how changes are made in our lives. We as Americans, vote for the candidate of our choice because we feel that they will represent us with the best intentions. Learning about the different aspects of the Constitution in our Government class made me realize how important it is to vote. Voters sometimes think that their vote cannot make a difference so they choose not to vote. However, this thought is mistakenly untrue because one vote can indeed make a difference.
Voter participation motivates individual participation in political campaigns and elections. If one is uneducated about the election, voter participation might increase their knowledge of the issues. In class we read, “many citizens are politically active but do not vote, and for some Americans, not voting is either a statement of contentment or a form of political protest” (148). Citizens do have the choice to vote or not vote. They may feel that participation in a campaign or a cause is more important than their actual vote. Nothing is held against them if they choose not to vote, but they need to realize the mistake they could be making. Mistakes made by choosing to not vote are more likely to be seen within younger voters.
It is common in today’s society that the majority of young voters are the least educated and have a low voter turnout rate. Being uneducated hurts the young voters of America because they do not understand the impact they could be having on the nation. Voter turn out is higher among people who are educated, have more money, and own their own homes. Young voters do not always fit into these categories and that is why the voter turn out is the way it is. Voting is a privilege that is given to all American citizens above the age of 18. If young voters do not view voting as a privilege and they choose to ignore it, I believe that they should not have the right to vote. Voting is a privilege that citizens are granted. So why not take advantage of this privilege?
In conclusion, I believe that voter participation is the key to elections. Everyone needs to participate in order to experience the Democratic process. Voters that choose not to participate make it impossible to see the variety of political opinions. If all the views on different issues are not heard or seen, than in my mind it could be classified as an unfair election. I know many people will say, “Well it is ones own faults for not voting.” I agree with this statement but I also believe that if voter participation was much grater, then voters might be surprised by how much elections could change. Also, if one is politically active and or has the opportunity to vote and chooses not to, I feel that they are a disgrace to our great country. All votes have an impact and make a difference. I greatly look forward to making my own difference in America by voting once I turn 18.