Do We Really Need a U.S. Presidency Any Longer, or Can the Nation Be Run by a Bipartisan Board?
A drastic overhaul of the U.S. government will not happen anytime soon, but may well serve several masters.
First, allow me to acknowledge that this post, with apologies to “Star Trek’s” Kobayashi Maru, is a “no-win scenario.”
I will share this on my social media when completed, and be accused of not understanding our past and/or present political system, being ignorant of the Constitution and so forth.
Sorry. I’m a political junkie, and read and write frequently on the matter. I’m college educated, a writer and a former teacher.
The defense rests.
Moving on ...
This morning, it was announced that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19. He was the first world leader to be diagnosed, and may not be the last.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in quarantine for nearly a week upon finding out her doctor has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Heir to the royal throne Prince Charles has tested positive, as have several U.S. senators, and while not world leaders their test results have only punctuated the indiscriminate nature of our present global crisis.
Our new reality.
What if our U.S. President, our VP and all others in the line of succession were so inflicted? These are tough questions that must be asked today, and no, I do not wish ill upon anyone regardless of my personal politics. (That sentence did not need to be written, but as I’ve been outspoken about my political positions I wanted to acknowledge the matter.)
Where will we go from there? Who will lead the country?
My suggestion is we create a committee, something equivalent to a Board of Directors as a secondary backup. In this regard, the country would be further prepared in the event of another, still deadlier crisis.
Such a Board, I argue, should be prepped now.
The Board should consist of eight U.S. representatives, ideally bipartisan — four Republicans and four Democrats. In the event of a stalemate when it comes to issues, the U.S. Supreme Court will take it upon themselves and prioritize a decision.
It all sounds incredibly naive and silly, I know. But consider the psychology behind the matter. Once we enter the other side of the Covid-19 curve, the world — one hopes — will have learned numerous lessons.
The Other Side of the Curve: Life, Sex and Art in a Post-Covid-19 World
As with any other virus, this one too is expected to become manageable. So what’s next?
For example, nothing will be the same as it was prior.
Prior to 1789 we had no president. Is it time to reconsider our modern-day rules of politics? Has the office now become too big and unwieldy for a single “leader of the free world?” Should one individual wield so much power?
Valid meanderings, one and all.
Those of us who have felt helpless during this current period, who have become restless while watching ongoing news reports of exponential deaths worldwide, have largely solidified into their two partisan camps.
One group continues to lean on Donald Trump’s every word, including his stated hopes for a return to (relative) normalcy by Easter. The other group has cursed his every word, blaming him for not taking the virus seriously.
I’m guilty of the latter. I compared his early response to that of Mayor Larry Vaughn in “Jaws.”
To me, there are two questions that should be addressed so as not to again be caught unprepared:
- Should the U.S. Presidency be entirely reconsidered?
- Should the U.S. Presidency be backed-up by a de facto Board in the event of another such crisis?
In either case, it can reasonably be argued that such a global crisis, as that in which we now find ourselves, only occurs on very rare occasions.
True, but does it matter?
My conclusion is simple: #2 would be my answer. Realistically, doing away with a single national leader will not happen, perhaps ever. But backing him or her, and their administration, by a Board may make sense considering the lessons of our new reality.
The questions and answers would then be:
- Do U.S. voters vote for this Board? Yes.
- What does this Board do in the meantime? They work their usual government jobs until called to duty.
- Should Board members be based off-site, maybe not in Washington? Perhaps.
Some readers who may consider all this, without immediately shooting it down due to the absurdity of it all — which would be an unfortunate perception considering the former impossibility of our present circumstance, a new world that was, until recently, relegated to science fiction — may ask about the possibility of such Board members working civilian jobs until called to duty.
Personally, that’s a less-preferred possibility for several reasons, but if said entities could participate in ongoing training and develop intensive practical experience, a possibility nonetheless.
The rules of the U.S. Presidential line of succession, created in 1792 and variously amended through the years, can be found here:
United States presidential line of succession
The United States presidential line of succession is the order in which officials of the United States federal…
The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947, and last revised in 2006 in large part due to the post-9/11 realization that terrorist-related decapitation strikes could take the lives of many in the succession line at once.
For the record, our present line of succession is the following (graphic courtesy of Wikipedia):
When I peruse this list I become more convinced than ever as to the viability of my idea. Of course, the entire government would subsequently need to undergo a restructuring in this case.
But, logistics aside, is the idea a negative? Or, is it workable?
What are your thoughts?
Thank you, as ever, for reading.
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