The Actual Job Description of the President

By Greg Penglis   /   Canada Free Press

This usually gets lost in the mess that has become our traditional campaign season, but never has it gone more off the rails than this time, and by both campaigns.  We are about to elect a President.  It should be the job of the media to properly describe exactly what the President is allowed and required to do, and which candidate and policies most closely line up with the Constitution.  Our schools and colleges should educate people about the Constitution and how the President fits into the overall government, considering especially Federalism, Checks and Balances, and the Separation of Powers.  In this our schools and media have failed miserably and continue to do so on a daily basis.  There are of course, exceptions.  The proof is that you are able to read this here on Canada Free Press.

I’ve copied the relevant parts of Article 2 from the Constitution below, which describe the operative parts of the job of President.  I’ve left out elective and other non job operative clauses.  Article 2 is also where you find the specific and unique Oath of Office for the President.  Holding them to that Oath is the job of the media and the other branches of government.  That too has been lost.

It has always been my judgment to find the candidate whose agenda and temperament most closely matches the enumerated powers, and who will most faithfully carry them out. That’s why for me the obvious choice this time was Ted Cruz.  Whomever your choice for President at this time, the point is studying the Constitution to see what the President should and should not do, and can and can not do.  So before you vote, give Article 2 a run through and see if you learn something new.  I always do.

You will notice that there is no delegated power to the President to: make national policy, write executive orders, enter into and conclude international agreements, build walls on our borders, pay ransoms for Americans, support or defend any international law or body, write regulations with the force of law, grant amnesty to mass groups of people, engage our military in foreign nation building, have or control a national police force (F.B.I.), set aside and control land within the states, arm a plethora of different departments and agencies and a variety of personnel within them, deny or restrict arms to the people including importation, create new departments and the czars to run them, act independently when Congress does not, initiate hostile military action without a declaration of war, refuse to comply with any part of the Constitution, require the purchase nationwide of a government product as in health care, nor selectively advocate or repress individual rights as any president chooses.  This is not an exhaustive or complete list.

Think of the President as the Chief Executive Officer of a corporation, and Congress as the Board of Directors.  It is the Board who makes the overall policy, and the CEO who implements that policy.  That’s pretty much how it is supposed to work.

You will not find any of the current issues being highlighted by either major campaign discussing any aspect of the constitutional job of the President.  You will not find the Constitution brought up in a meaningful way by any of the major media.  It is up to you to educate yourself as to what in fact we are voting for.  For the presidency and every other office, think about who most closely lives up to the letter and spirit of our Constitution, who actually values and honors the Oath of Office, and who skips through it as a reflex action or inconsequential formality in the quest for power.

I will point out one action of Donald Trump that is of particular constitutional significance that has escaped general notice.  Trump has published a list of his approved choices for Supreme Court Justice.  No one has ever done this, not even a sitting president.  Usually the President simply presents their nominees and expects the Senate to send them through.  But take a look at the relevant language in Section 2: “and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate…”  The words “and by and with” appear awkward, where in reality they are key.  They mean that the President and Senate work together on both the nominating and confirmation process.  It means that the President should provide a list of nominees as possible choices, and the Senate should return with a list from within that list of whom they advise to be nominated.  And by and with the consent of the Senate in hearings and voting, a Justice is confirmed.  This actually is a return to real constitutional governing that should be widely publicized for how significant it really is.  But first it would have to be recognized as such.  I don’t even think Trump realizes this.  If you can do this kind of analysis for every section and clause, you will understand the presidency as few others do, yet you will be considered in the wrong, because assumptions are more powerful than knowledge, and the written word plainly displayed in the Constitution.

Here are the most relevant parts of Article 2 of the Constitution.  Please consider all of this carefully.

Section 1.

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected…

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section 2.

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Just a final note.  Section 4 has been woefully underused since the Nixon Administration.  And that in itself is a crime against this great nation.

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