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“The US Presidency is utterly a-typical and cannot be used as a model of executive authority”. Discuss.

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Introduction

1st May 02 UCARD NUMBER- 010155961 Politics 104- "The US Presidency is utterly a-typical and cannot be used as a model of executive authority". Discuss. This statement is clearly a simplistic approach for looking at the largest and most powerful nation in the world but does have some inherent truths behind it. In this essay through examining the US Presidency and comparing to other executives across the world from our own here in the UK to the Brazilian Presidency I will try to show that the US system although clearly unique is a model of executive authority. This may seem like a paradoxical statement but through looking at the number of countries that have tried to emulate the US democracy, its systems and possibly most importantly the US presidency we can see it is used as a model. To describe anything as a-typical means there would have to be a norm a typical to start with. I believe that although countries may start with the same or a similar model in mind for their executive, no two executives are the same, especially one as unique as the USA; there is no typical to start from. The US is on its own level in western democracy with no country with an economy, population, military capacity or global influence to match it. These factors make the US as a country unique and it could be argued do not actually affect the US Presidency as a role but it is difficult if not impossible to separate the executive from the country's statistics. ...read more.

Middle

The president must increase his status and authority by increasing two other attributes, his professional reputation and public prestige, although these are subjective ideas it is essentially how capable he appears to the Washington community; of Congress, the Administration, State governors, military commanders, party leaders, representatives form private interest groups, newsmen and foreign diplomats. These have become more important in the media age that we live and the world has enhanced the status of the US presidency through giving him the media coverage, even terrorists increase the US presidential and national status by targeting them as their objectified enemy. The United States is said to have a government of laws and institutions rather than individuals, but it clearly is important who is president and hold that key role in office and it can have profound repercussions. Look at Johnson's reluctance to leave the Vietnam War, as he did not want to be seen as the first president to loose a war. Johnson admits "I never I never intended to be a war president". The question can be put; did thousands die to save this man's political face? If we look at Britain we can see that it is the strong leaders who have shaped our country and government; - "In Great Britain, with its tradition of collective leadership, for example, the rare Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, or Tony Blair is far outnumbered by the many Stanley Baldwins, Harold Wilsons, and John Majors, whose personal impact on governmental actions is at best limited." ...read more.

Conclusion

They expected that by giving someone this superlative title they would be able to automatically gain domestic and international respect and authority on a par with the US. Reputations need to be built and an executive's reputation only comes with time. The executive is at the political tier and the apex of government in charge directly with the nation's affairs. For although the US is a system to admire no other country has had the time to establish its self as a presidential state. Latin American countries are improving but a lack of capital and leaders failing doing the initial major changes to their countries, from the need to get out of the pockets of military groups to the need for major economic over-hall to bring them out of the depths of debt. Only with major changes could they stand a chance at being a successful imitation of the US. No nation will ever succeed as a carbon copy of the US presidential system as it is steeped in history and constitutional amendments that have come together over 100's of years of precedents. Roosevelt and Eisenhower helped to institutionalise and centralise the presidency- implement presidency as a "National Symbol". With the Truman idea of "The Buck stops here!" the presidents of the 1940's and 50's gave the presidents a status that has never been matched in any other economy across the world. But again this is hugely due to the media, financial, economy status of the American nation. ...read more.

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