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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Presidential Paradoxy and a Plea for Patience

I am of the belief that higher education is crucial in developing the self in areas which would have otherwise gone unexplored. If you’re lucky, you are guided through this learning process by professors who are also experts of and passionate participants in their field. I myself have been fortunate enough to develop my lackluster knowledge of political science with the aid of Professor Michael Genovese, one of the premier experts on the American presidency and its history and a valued staff member at Loyola Marymount University.

What I have found most interesting about his course on the presidency is the overarching theme of paradox and the inconsistent demands and whims of the American people as well as the part our constitution plays in preventing any president to really successfully lead. As far as the people are concerned, we simultaneously demand of our president a hero/unfailing power structure and a down-to-earth Everyman with more compassion than authority; we want our president to get things done and yet we limit and nit-pick the circumstances and lengths to which he is allowed to do so. Our constitution having been written during a period when the framers feared too much power in the hands of one person granted the presidency very limited ability and created a separation of powers that greatly inhibits a timely process for creating and adjusting law.

I am not a politician, nor am I well versed in political discourse, and to be honest I feel I still have much to learn about the American government and its workings, therefore I am not here to criticize but merely to reflect upon and bring to light this predicament of power. Essentially, the message that has been most conveyed about the traits of presidents both past and present is that it takes a crazy person to desire a place at the head of the American public whose majority will likely never be completely satisfied with any course of action taken. As the saying goes, “you can’t please everyone”, and in the case of, say, President Barack Obama, that “everyone” is quite literal.

At a time when the United States is so volatile and numerous issues of great importance are up for debate on the political table, I suggest that, like him or not, having voted for him or not, we take a moment to appreciate the life of service that is the office of the presidency, that we acknowledge the difficulty of the job in all its limitations both privately and constitutionally and be slower to criticize our leader.

--Heather Maupin


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