Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Are American presidents becoming (or have they long since become) tantamount to elected kings?

Cato Institute scholar Gene Healy has penned volumes about the super-sized presidency (The Cult of the Presidency and False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency, for two). So he’s well-qualified to assess conservative law professor F.H. Buckley’s Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America.

Buckley both credits our Constitution for protecting our liberty and indicts it for fostering the modern assaults on that liberty.

Our government has lapsed into an “elective monarchy,” which also afflicts parliamentary systems but to which presidential systems are especially susceptible. For “presidentialism fosters the rise of Crown government.” It “encourages messianism by making the head of government the head of state,” insulating him from legislative accountability and making it harder to remove him.

Though Healy finds the argument well-defended in many respects, he isn’t entirely convinced. He’d like more evidence, for example, that parliamentary systems are as better equipped to reverse big and bad policies as they are at imposing them.

I’ll let these two argue the nuances regarding which form of out-of-control national government is most dangerously constituted. We can be grateful, at least, that our own elected king is curbed by term limits much less easily shucked than has proved the case in other presidentially governed countries.

Like these others, we may have an elected monarch. But, pre- and post-FDR, he is not a monarch-for-life. Not yet.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Elizabeth Nash says:

    Interesting juxtaposition. As an ex-pat US living in Canada, I live under and vote in both, and I’d have to think about which system is better/worse. Right now, I’m glad the US has term limits and Canada does not, as Canada has one of the best world leaders currently in office, and the US has the worst, worst in the world, and worst in its own history.

  2. JFB says:

    Paul, your quote from Luther Martin, and your article are well coordinated, kudos.
    The premise there has developed an imperial presidency is certainly believable.
    However I would further premise that the actual expansion, beyond all reason or logic, of the federal government is by the bastardization by interpretation of the original “enumerated powers” the federal government was granted.
    Presently the FEDERAL government has a stake, and commonly control, of every aspect of present day American life.
    This is contrary to the founders intent to limit it, leaving the states compete with each other, and thereby being limited as well.
    That the founding fathers were unsuccessful proves Luther Martin’s premise that the government cannot be limited, will exceed its mandate and therefore will eventually require dissolution and replacement in order to recommence the cycle of history.

  3. Free Man (NOT) says:

    Like these others, we may have an elected monarch. But, pre- and post-FDR, he is not a monarch-for-life. Not yet. QUOTE

    All it will take is one false flag event and we might just end up with him for a looong time.
    Considering what he has done so far, I wouldn’t put it past him to declare martial law and “suspend” elections indefinitely.

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