Should all leaders in all three branches of American government have the same abilities in prudence, wisdom and judgment? And, if so, what would or should be the threshold requirement for those abilities? Further, how should the abilities of a leader be evaluated? And, how may citizens compare the abilities of one with those of another?
The Presidency of the United States of America is one of the three branches of government. Yet, the President exercises powers and functions that comprise a combination of those of the other two branches. As a means of executing the laws enacted by the Congress, the President administers and guides many very large bureaucratic agencies which exercise both legislative and adjudicative functions. As a result, citizens should ask if the President must possess the ability and talents we expect of the other two branches of government in exercising the executive powers? Judges should be wise, prudent and focused upon the rule of law as they deliberate and issue opinions. And, legislators should focus upon the views and will of the public as guided by our Constitution and existing Public Laws as they make new law. Perhaps, all three branches must place justice, fairness and the common weal above the interests of the United States in exercising their functions and duties. For, though we are citizens of an international community, no one is above the law, the international common law.
In the words of Edmund Burke, a member of the British House of Commons, a democracy should be led by its natural aristocracy and not by an inherited gentry. The American Constitution similarly founds our republic upon the theory that it is a creature of the people, “We the People.” Yet, the governing majority is deemed a tyrannous majority whose temperament and flaws must be mitigated by the rule of an educated representative stratum. The very existence of the land and government upon which we depend relies upon learned decision making by fairly elected members of America’s best and brightest. By this means, we can keep our republic.
Lori Gayle Nuckolls