The Presidential Spectator

The Presidential Spectator

Reagan’s Inaugural Words: An Inspiration and Warning for Today

By 1.14.15

It doesn’t seem like it’s been thirty-four years.

But on January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States as the new First Lady and millions of Americans looked on. The words of his inaugural address are full of timeless truth… and perhaps are even more powerful today than when they were first uttered.

Like today, the America of 1981 faced economic challenges including unemployment, inflation, a growing deficit, and challenges abroad. Reagan’s speech inspired the American people to believe — not in some vague notion of “hope.” Rather, he inspired us to believe that we could courageously face those problems and solve them. When he said the nation was not, as some claimed, “doomed to an inevitable decline,” it was as if that Carter-induced malaise lost some of its power.

The Presidential Spectator

No More Affirmative Action Presidents

By 9.2.14

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people “moderately disapprove” of Barack Obama’s performance as president and 39 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now “strongly disapprove” of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

With many people now acting as if it is time for “a woman” to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a president of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.

It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect “a woman” president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons.

The Presidential Spectator

A Lame Duck Country?

By 6.24.14

Pundits are pointing to President Barack Obama's recent decline in public opinion polls, and saying that he may now become another "lame duck" president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.

That has happened to other presidents. But it is extremely unlikely to happen to this president. There are reasons why other presidents have become impotent during their last years in office. But those reasons do not apply to Barack Obama.

The Constitution of the United States does not give presidents the power to carry out major policy changes without the cooperation of other branches of government. Once the country becomes disenchanted with a president during his second term, Congress has little incentive to cooperate with him -- and, once Congress becomes uncooperative, there is little that a president can do on his own.

That is, if he respects the Constitution.