Don’t be fooled. The president of the United States is not some kind of God-anointed messiah who’s been placed in our path to show us the way. Yes, POTUS does have extraordinary power, but it’s bestowed power, not divine, and it’s been granted for a specified period of time.
The only reason POTUS is reputed to be the most powerful person in the world is because of The Office of the President.
The power resides in The Office.
It’s a constant. A citadel of permanence. It’s the seat of unmatched Institutional power.
Like truth, the power inherent in The Office is immutable.
The occupant of The Office, POTUS, is a transient. A part-timer. In real terms, POTUS is only a tenant; a person who occupies The Office for a limited, prescribed time.
The Office sits atop the most powerful country in the world and bestows upon its occupant the rarest of opportunities: To be an example millions will worship and earnestly emulate; to be a cynosure of integrity and truth; to lead America and the world with wisdom and compassion.
POTUS can direct the enormous power of The Office toward the future…working selflessly to promote public well-being, health and education; to oversee a renewed and rebuilt infrastructure; exemplify respect for science and climate change…to promulgate an objective strategy based on the needs, hopes, energies and collective strength of the public.
POTUS can undermine the opportunity to serve the public and; instead, harness the power of The Office to serve him/herself.
A self-servant can tweet ‘til the cows come home…issue de facto rules the less enlightened will receive and accept as truths…To espouse conspiracy theories the unenlightened will accept as truths…To lie and lie and lie and the unenlightened faithful will defend as facts.
It’s not the power of a demigod that makes this so; no, in our representative democracy the titanic power of The Office is at the fingertips of the president (regardless of how small the fingers)… and its at his/her discretion how that power is exercised.
If used subjectively, said power will reveal itself in mysterious and troubling ways.
So-called evangelical Christians will find commonality in a white Supremacist, a misogynist, a faux Christian, a racist and a wannabe tyrant. Innocent followers will believe a pandemic is merely a political hoax and ignore, even resent, ways to protect themselves and others from it. Grievance will become a hallmark of American culture and it will be encouraged to express itself variously as a weapon against “rigged” elections, “fake” news, Asians, Muslims and socialist democrats.
It’s power is magic for those who share it with others.
Or, it’s a ticking time bomb in the hands of an unstable ignoramus.
I’m thankful President Biden has control of the nuclear codes.
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