Americans speak of the “Evolving Presidency” as a way of exploring the history of the American presidency and the way it has shaped America. The history shows that American Presidents in the 18th and 19th Centuries had limited powers as compared to those in the 20th and 21st centuries. For instance, in the 18th century, the president’s cabinet was neither created by an Act of Congress nor catered for in the Constitution. Therefore it was the president’s duty to assemble its department heads. In addition, the limited power is exhibited by the way America’s first president, George Washington had a desk consisting of a secretary, a clerk, and a servant, all who acted as his messengers (Fisher, 2015). Additionally, the first executive posts were created in 1789 and were limited to the Attorney General, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of War, and Secretary of the Treasury (Fisher, 2015).
However, the state recognizes 21st Century as a period that has shifted presidential powers over time, which makes the presidency modern presidency more powerful. For instance, the present day Cabinet consists of fifteen executive departments, a confirmation of increased power (Fisher, 2015). Likewise, the president has the right to choose other Cabinet members such as the Vice President in addition to having executive and administrative powers such as administering the laws approved by the Congress. The president also has the authority to appoint and to remove any official in the government posts. Moreover, the president’s other powers include legislative powers, veto powers, judicial powers and pardoning powers (Fisher, 2015).
Additionally, it would be false to assume that the evolution of the presidential powers is a recent development. Instead, these changes result from the expansion of the executive branch, the need for the government to act fast, and the Constitutional Indeterminacy of the President among others, expanding the Presidency powers (Marshal, 2008).Therefore, America’s presidency structure has continuously evolved over past centuries thereby contributing towards increased presidential powers.
Based on the changes in the American Presidential powers, American heads of state have exercised their leadership powers differently. Some have been strong while others were weaker. Likewise, some have been considered active while others are passive. America’s presidency history shows that George Washington was among America’s strongest Presidents as he managed to forcefully dominate Congress by using his treasury. Andrew Jackson was also considered a strong President given the fact that he served during the Revolutionary War (Tindall & Shi, 2016). Franklin Pierce, on the other hand, was considered a weak president as he fainted twice in public during the Mexican War (Meed, 2014). James Buchanan weakness was associated with this gay identity as that created a weaker image among the public thereby encouraging others, particularly Andrew Jackson to refer to him as “Aunty Nancy” (Strauss, 2016).
In addition, Abraham Lincoln was an active president, as evidenced by the way he actively involved the public in preserving the Union. For instance, he implemented quite many unconstitutional acts such declaration of the martial law and nationalizing railroads. Other than being active, his strong personality was demonstrated when he arrested newspaper publishers who made criticisms. That showed that he was not afraid of the public’s opinions given his choice of actions. Likewise, when he ordered that the Federal troops intimidate Democratic voters, distracting elections in the North, he proved that he was powerful and willing to use the instruments at his disposal. On the other hand, James A. Garfield was considered a passive president as evidenced by the fact that America was peaceful during his reign (Pappas & Joharifard, 2013). Additionally, no changes were made in the government during his time in power. Instead, everything was left to run smoothly as he found them. In conclusion, America’s presidents exercised their leadership powers in different ways, which portrayed different images to the public. This resulted in the notion of strong, weak, active and passive presidents.
“Great Again”by Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s book is about America’s “crippled” condition, which presents the reader with the idea that the world is in a messy state. The poor economic conditions have been majorly influenced by politicians who make empty promises. Similarly, the politicians usually have special interests and therefore make promises during campaigns and fail to fulfill the same. This means that Donald Trump builds a vision on how to rebuild America and make it a great nation once more.
The book portrays Donald Trump as a confident person based on the fact that he is certain of changing America by fixing the failing economy through reforming health care, improving the education system by resources to enable students to compete worldwide, and rebuilding the military (Trump, 2015). In addition, he is optimistic as he believes it is possible to make America’s infrastructure great again. He shares the belief that use of cheap foreign labor can be vital to rebuilding America. The book demonstrates Donald Trump’s creativity when coming up with the slogan “Great Again,” an expression he used to explain the manner in which he plans to save America from the losses incurred during the victory of Republican’s Presidential elections in 2012.
On a personal note, I expect Trump to increase America’s economic income by the end of his first year as president. That is because I anticipate an improved infrastructure will enhance trade in addition to the proposed tax reforms. These reforms include the change of the corporate tax code to encourage low tax trade among companies (Trump, 2015). His decision to bar the entry of illegal immigrants to the country likely to be a boost to improved security in America.
Additionally, Trump’s choice of language in the book captures the reader’s attention. For instance, he uses psychological language tricks such as “crippled America” to create an image that shows the poor state of America. Also, his hyperbolic statements such as “I have seen their broken bodies, known about the horrors that live in their hearts” suggest the characters and conditions of America’s politicians. Finally, he uses phrases such as “Make America Great” that are commonly used by Americans as slogans. Therefore, his choice of language increases excitement in the book.
Fisher, L. (2015). Presidential spending power. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Marshall, W. P. (2008). Eleven reasons why presidential power inevitably expands and why it matters. BUL Review, 88, 505.
Meed, D. V. (2014). The Mexican War 1846–1848. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Pappas, T. N., & Joharifard, S. (2013). Did James A. Garfield die of cholecystitis? Revisiting the autopsy of the 20th president of the United States. The American Journal of Surgery, 206(4), 613.
Strauss, R. (2016). Worst. President Ever: James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. (2016). America: A narrative history. New York: WW Norton & Company.
Trump, D. J. (2015). Crippled America: How to make America great again. Threshold Editions.