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“Foreign policy is the prerogative of the president, even if he is weak.”

November 4, 2010

The democrats beating in the U.S midterm elections have quickly had the whole world talking. The day after the midterms—November 3rd_– I came across an article published by the Associated Press.


Here presents the effects of the Republicans largest gain in over 60 years inside the House of Representatives. The Democrats hold the senate and the republicans now hold the bottom part of the House, thus potentially making “American politics…locked” With this idea broached, many from around the world are questioning our countries leader and his ability—or potential inability—to exercise his executive prerogative.


Because of the weakening of the executives political party and this potential standoff in the legislative branch, the global query has become “Has the president lost some of his ‘power…to provide for the public good.” (Locke) Most, according to this articles examples seem to think otherwise: “As former Danish Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft said, ‘American politics will be locked.’ But foreign policy isn’t likely the top casualty, many opinion makers said.” (AP)

Hearing this, I started to question and look into the president’s prerogatives and what his deduced limits have been. The most common executive prerogative is pardons and it seems that is really the extent of his authority. Most come in the end of a president’s term, and many of them are argued about in the media—what is not limited is the amount of pardons, an executive prerogative. A question has always been what can an average citizen do to control executive prerogative, and with the debacle surrounding the midterm elections, an opening is there, but unfortunately there is no answer.

Some say the category of foreign policy is presidential prerogative, such as Zalaman Shoval of Israel: “Foreign policy is the prerogative of the president, even if he is weak.” So what?! Why should a “weak” president have the same rhetoric as one who is running on all cylinders? I know the denotation of the law is that the executive can take certain actions without being “checked and balanced” but if the president is “weak”, shouldn’t there be a way to stop this? In my mind there seems to be only one solution: a Noncompensatory Decision Model. Its either a yes he can do this or a no he cannot. Opinion makers should not have to be quoted in their comprehension and analysis on a political election such as this. “It will be harder for him, yes,” said Sonni Gondokusumo. He adds: “But he’s not going to give up. He’s going to keep struggling because this isn’t just what’s best for the world but for Americans. He still has two years to prove himself.” Why should the president have to be “struggling” in his rhetoric of enforcing what Mr.Shoval called his prerogative? The executive prerogative is the indelible right of our countries president. Either we accept it with all its consequences, or we find a way collectively to remove this. It’s a representative democratic country; give the president the chance to enforce his prerogative for the “public good”. He will most likely be more effective if he doesn’t have to “struggle” and be persistent on applying his inherit right.



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