I’d love to see laws passed by congress that would apply to ALL presidents, on both sides of the aisle. The executive branch has grown in power for the last 50 years and needs some hedge trimming. Here is a list:
- Candidates for President must release their tax records to avoid hidden conflict of interest issues.
- Preemptive nuclear strikes MUST first be preceded by a congressional declaration of war.
- All nuclear strikes must be signed off by at least 3 cabinet members.
- Presidents are not allowed to endorse any candidate or engage in any election activity during their tenure. Presidents have special benefits and must have special limits.
- Presidents may not pardon themselves, nor pardon immediate members of their family. (Children, Siblings, Parents)
- Presidents must always have witnesses to meetings with foreign heads of state. The notes may be classified, but need to be accessible by appropriate members of congress.
- Presidents may not have twitter or Facebook (or other only publishing accounts). There is too much power in their words. They should reply on press releases.
- Presidents must have Q&A with congress at least once a year for 8 hours. Modeled after the British model with parliament.
- All civil lawsuits against presidents must be delayed until they are out of office.
- Criminal cases…hmm, this one is tricky
- Bonus law: Single term limits for presidents. You get 1. Length can be increased to 6 years. Obviously, this can’t happen without a constitutional amendment. I just can’t stand presidents trying to get elected rather than just governing.
That last one is difficult to know what the right law would be. If the president commits murder in front of 1000 witnesses, they need to be arrested, don’t they? However, what if they are being setup? That would equate to a coup d’etat. This hasn’t been an issue since Arron Burr (VP) killed Alexander Hamilton. It gets trickier for other offenses. What if the president takes some cocaine or smokes marijuana? What if they take an emolument? What if they jaywalk?
There are so many crimes and the president is such a focus of vitriol, no matter which party they belong to. What should the rules be? We want to believe no one is above the law, but we also want our presidents to be able to do their jobs without feeling constantly pressured by the opposition pressing trumped up criminal charges. (Pun obviously intended)
The other laws seem obvious to me. They keep the presidency transparent and accountable and try to avoid nuclear war. I don’t think the president should be involved in other elections while president. Even while campaigning for themselves for 2nd term.
The point of this post is to think, “What are things I would agree to if the president was a progressive AND if they were a right-winger. What are laws that seem fair and even?”
Congress isn’t living up to their checks and balances role. Possibly because there are just too many of them. In the founding days there were only 26 senators and 60 congressman. The conversation was more focused. Now with 435 congressmen and 100 senators, it’s too hard to even remember all of their names, much less come to substantive agreements. If I could wave a magic wand, I would decrease the numbers in both houses by half.
What would you change with your magic want? Keep in mind that the party in power changes frequently.