If one looks at the Constitution of the United States of America one discovers that it consists of seven articles and twenty-seven amendments. Of these the first three articles set up the organization and functioning of the Federal Government. Article 1 deals with the legislative bodies, Article 2 with the presidency, and Article 3 with the Supreme Court.
In the first Article the two legislative bodies, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are defined, organized, and their powers enumerated. Article 2 sets up the presidency and describes the general powers of the President, and Article 3 essentially states that there shall be a Supreme Court.
According to the Constitution, Congress alone has the power to make the laws. The President is the chief administrator; he carries out the laws that exist and that the current Congress has brought or brings into being. The President can issue executive orders, which if they are not in contradiction of existing laws, will exist during his term in office. But his acts can be curtailed by specific acts of Congress or, for that matter, by decisions of the Supreme Court. He is mainly the chief administrator of the United States. He runs the country.
During Presidential Elections one gets the impression that most candidates and the general public are totally unaware of what the basic document of the United States contains. In the current pre-election campaign for the Presidency in 2016 the overly large number of Republican candidates state what they will do if elected. These individuals sound like they are running to be kings and explain how the country will function if one of them is elected. What new laws they will decree. The ignorance is pathetic.
Barak Obama was elected in 2008 on a platform of change. When he assumed office in 2009 he inherited, from the former President, George W. Bush, a potential economic collapse that would have been greater than the Great Depression of 1929. By using the resources of the Federal Government, he and his administration were able, over his first two years in office, to turn the economic situation around and totally avoid disaster. Even with the full use of the government for this he was able, with a Democratic Congress, to bring about Affordable Health Care (Obamacare). In the 2010 Midterm Election a goodly number of the people who had voted for him in 2008 were disgusted with his lack of “change” and stayed at home and didn’t vote. That combined with Voter Suppression in Republican dominated states gave control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans and the chances for change in the U.S. dropped to zero.
The probability of a Republican being elected in 2016 and both Houses of Congress maintaining their Republican majority is slim. But even if it were to happen the possibility of a Republican president agreeing completely with a Republican Congress is even slimmer. In fact the two Republican Houses of Congress agreeing is even slimmer than that, seeing that the current Republican House of Representatives is much farther to the right in their positions than the Republican dominated Senate.
What is needed at this time is a realistic look at elections and an understanding of the importance of voter continuing participation. Elections are important. Their results helps determine the direction in which the country proceeds. Being not bothered to vote or a protest non-vote is actually a vote for the minority party, the Republicans.
There are currently a plethora of Republican candidates vying for the Presidency in 2016. In fact the leadership of the National Republican Party seems bankrupt of power since they don’t seem to have any control over the choice of one or a few possible candidates.
For the Republicans there are currently fifteen announced candidates and seven additional potentially pending candidates. This makes a total of twenty-one people who are vying for the presidency from the Republican Party.
The stated candidates are:
Jeb Bush officially as of June 15, 2015
- Ben Carson as of May 4, 2015
- Ted Cruz as of March 23, 2015
- Carly Fiorina as of May 4, 2015
- Lindsey Graham as of June 1, 2015
- Mike Huckabee as of May 5, 2015
- George Pataki as of May 28, 2015
- Rand Paul as of April 7, 2015
- Rick Perry as of June 4, 2015
- Marco Rubio as of April 13, 2015
- Rick Santorum as of May 27, 2015
- Donald Trump as of June 16, 2015
- Bobby Jingle as of June 24, 2015
- Chris Christie as of June 30, 2015
- Scott Walker as of July 13, 2015
Also announced are Mark Everson & Jack Fellure
Other potential candidates are:
- John Kasich
- Bob Ehrlich
- Jim Gilmore
- Peter T. King
That makes a total of 21 potential presidential candidates
The next question is: How will they debate one another? If they were all present in a single debate, the answers to each question would last for more than an hour and many TV viewers would forget at least half the answers before the question was answered. Fox News, the formal propaganda agency for the Republican Party, had a formula to just allow a certain number of the candidates leading in the national polls to debate but that’s been rejected by several state parties. Whatever happens here will be colorful and interesting.
If you’re interested in any of the multitude of Republican candidates, look them up on the internet or, if you’re patient wait to see who’s left when we get to November of 2015. I suspect many of these individuals don’t and won’t have the organization, funding, or ability to mount 50 plus campaigns and will gradually fade away.
For the Democrats there are also a host of candidates but only two or three of them seem to have the organization to hold elections in each of the 50 states and each of the Federal Territories held by the United States. They are, in the order of national poll preference, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Lincoln Chafee.
Of the Democratic candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the best known. She is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, a former well-functioning U.S. Senator, and President Barak Obama’s first Secretary of State. No one running for the Presidency for the first time has been as experienced as she. Hillary Clinton is running on a liberal platform. For her to bring about her agenda she will need a majority in both the House and Senate.
Bernie Sanders is 74 years old. Politically, he is a Democratic Socialist, who caucuses with the Democratic Party. He has served in the Senate since January 2007. Sanders favors policy proposals similar to those of social democratic governments in Europe, particularly Scandinavia, such things as free medical care for all and free college education for all. His basic premise is that the U.S. is the richest country that has ever existed but the bulk of this wealth is going to the one percent who are not even paying their fair share of taxes. He is currently the voice of many frustrated Americans who feel there is an extreme need for change in the United States but don’t see any of this occurring. Sanders is running for the presidency as a Democrat. Like Hillary, if he is elected he will need a Democratic Congress to bring about any change or he will spend four frustrated years as President not being able to do much.
Lincoln Chafee’s father, John Chafee, was the Republican Senator from Rhode Island where he died in 1999. His son, Lincoln, was appointed by the governor of the state to finish his term. Lincoln Chafee had entered politics in 1985 as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. The following year he was he became a member of the Warwick City Council, where he served until he was elected mayor of Warwick in 1992. He served in that office until his father’s death in 1999 when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate to finish his father’s term. In 2000 he won a full term to the U.S. Senate, defeating his Democratic rival.
Lincoln Chafee was a liberal Republican whose beliefs stood to the left of some conservative Democrats. He opposed eliminating the estate tax, voted to increase the top federal income tax rate, was against allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supported an increased minimum wage, and was the only Republican to vote against the invasion of Iraq. He is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gun control, and opposes the death penalty.
In 2007 Chafee left the Republican Party and became an Independent. He supported Barak Obama in 2008. In 2010 he became governor of Rhode Island. Chafee was a co-chair of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. In May of 2013 he announced that he was switching to the Democratic Party. He formally announced his campaign for the presidency on June 3, 2015.
What are his chances of becoming the Democratic candidate? An interesting question. He doesn’t seem as nationally well known as either Clinton or Sanders. And both of them have wide recognition and positive reputations with Hillary, probably leading.
With the senseless murder of the nine church members in the leading Black church in South Carolina Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken on the terms of leading a Crusade across the country which the majority of the American population seems to want. Of course, if she is elected, her success will depend upon the makeup of the two Houses of Congress. The Democrats need not only a majority in both Houses of Congress but also a filibuster-less Senate, that is a 60 vote majority in that House. Then if the Democrats can work lock-step a Crusade to change America positively can be carried out.