Welcome back! If you haven’t done so yet, it may be beneficial for you to read/watch The Voting Question Part: 1 before continuing. November 6 is quickly approaching and I had hoped to be further along than I am at this point, but here we go.
The Truth of the Matter
In part one I touched on my problems with America’s electoral system and the suppression of the third parties. I want everyone reading this to understand that I am not a (total) political junkie, but I get passionate about this because how we vote reflects what we believe, and as a Christian man it is of the utmost importance that:
- I vote by what I believe, and
- What I believe lines up with the Truth of Scripture.
This is the responsibility of ANYONE who calls themselves a Christian. I have heard many of my friends and family tell me that they don’t really like Obama, or the don’t really like Romney, but they are going to vote for one or the other because they either dislike the other, or they are a straight party voter. As I’ve said before, this is a horrible way to elect a president.
Regarding the Role of the President
While I am fully aware that the presidency isn’t the only office up for a election this year, let’s be honest, it’s the only one that most American’s really know or care about. Some states will have congressional elections, everyone will have state, county, and city elections, and some of us will cast a vote for particular bills regarding our communities. But for the sake of time and space, we are sticking to the Presidential elections. So what is the role of the President?
First off, we are a nation that is governed not by a body of elected officials, but by the United States Constitution. To answer the question of what responsibilities and powers the President has, we need to examine what the Constitution says. The powers and responsibilities of the President can be found in Article II of the US Constitution (click here for the wiki regarding this article and an explanation of what it means). For the sake of space I am only going to cover the sections (2 & 3) which are pertinent to this topic:
Section. 2. The President shall be Commander
in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,
and of the Militia of the several States, when
called into the actual Service of the United States;
he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the prin-
cipal Officer in each of the executive Departments,
upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their
respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant
Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the
United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice
and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties,
provided two thirds of the Senators present con-
cur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the
Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls,
Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers
of the United States, whose Appointments are not
*Changed by the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.
herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be
established by Law: but the Congress may by Law
vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as
they think proper, in the President alone, in the
Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all
Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of
the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall
expire at the End of their next Session.
Section. 3. He shall from time to time give to
the Congress Information of the State of the Un-
ion, and recommend to their Consideration such
Measures as he shall judge necessary and expe-
dient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, con-
vene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case
of Disagreement between them, with Respect to
the Time of Adjoumment, he may adjourn them
to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall
receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers;
he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully ex-
ecuted, and shall Commission all the Officers of
the United States.
That is it. That is all the power and responsibility that the President of the United States of America was designated by the Constitution. To put it plainly, the President is responsible for:
- Commanding the military
- Appointing the heads of various departments and Supreme Court Justices (with the approval of Congress)
- Issuing the State of the Union to Congress (not as vital nowadays with the Internet)
- Make suggestions and requests of the Congress (i.e. treaties, declerations of war, etc…)
- Accepting ambassadors and ministers (foreign dignitaries)
- Ensuring the execution of the law (including the issue of presidential pardons)
- Commissioning military officers
That being said, be careful when listening to the candidates on the campaign trail. They make big promises, but some of what they promise they simply cannot (legally) deliver.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Civics lesson over, and the big question is finally at hand: Who should we vote for? I have my opinion on the matter, but rather than being just another talking head (or typing head) we are going to look each candidate and their views on a number of topics whilst examining each said issue through the lens of scripture in order that we might find a suitable candidate… next time.