In defense of a strong executive


Courtesy of Unsplash

This country needs a President with a strong voice. Courtesy Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash.

“For god’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”. These nine words were said by the United States President Joe Biden a few days ago on the 26th of March. In the following days these nine words have kindled some controversy in the global community. Many take issue with a powerful first world leader seemingly calling for a regime change in an aggressive foreign nation. Biden has since stated that there are no current policies advocating for a regime change and no operations covert or otherwise in the works to make that happen. The condemning of these words is wholly wrong. As citizens and protectors of the free democratic world we must endorse this type of honesty within our leader. The message was not something that should have been said by a politician, that may be true but it is something that needed to be said. It was spoken from the heart and not the mind. And for these reasons we must praise these nine words. 

Some people, such as the former democratic senator of Montana, Max Baucus, believe that this gaffe could put the US in a more dangerous position. Speaking to Fox News he says, “The more the United States says things like that publicly, the more it closes our potential negotiations between all parties who are involved here, the more it corners Putin, the more Putin might become more dangerous.” Russia knows the United States’ opinions of them at the moment. They know all of NATO’s opinions of them. Is this ad-libbed statement going to be more impactful on negotiations than harsh economic sanctions? Is it going to be more impactful than continuing to aid Ukraine publicly? The statement made by Biden was not a direct threat to Putin. It was a statement about the moral and political stance of the United States. Most people in the US probably feel the same. No one is disagreeing with what Biden said. They are just disagreeing with the fact that he said it. But if an executive cannot represent and speak out the opinions of his/her people, then they are failing as an executive. 

Biden has since said that he is not attempting to walk anything back. He says, “I make no apologies for it…I was expressing the moral outrage I felt…but I want to make it clear that I wasn’t then, nor am I now, articulating a policy change.” Biden is making it clear that he is standing by those words. It was something that needed to be said. In every President the people look for someone with two things. A brain and a spine. Not all executives possess both at the same time or either at all but President Biden has shown us now that he has a spine. He still has time to prove he’s got a brain but we know now that he has something often overlooked and potentially even more important. He has a heart. He has a heart that beats for democracy and the free world and he has the gall to back that up. He is not backtracking on some embarrassing statement. He is standing by a statement of the heart and the free world needs more of that. The heart is what separates the cruel from the kind. This is the opinion of the free world and it is beautiful to see a strong executive standing by that. 

This country (arguably more than ever) needs a strong executive. It is something that is built into the foundations of our government. In one of his many essays arguing for the constitution Alexander Hamilton writes, “It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.” (Federalist Papers No. 70). In this single sentence we see Biden utilize one of the strongest powers that the President possesses. That of the bully pulpit. This is not one of the Gaffes that serves as an embarrassing political suicide. It is not something that needs apologizing for. Biden has stood by what he said as a good executive should. Biden is no doubt a controversial President and a lot of his actions invite criticism. This is not one of those actions. 

A decent few of the current A-West student population will be of voting age by the time the next presidential election rolls around. We must start critically evaluating our President. This is the best time to form and grow political opinions before that day comes when we are the ones who must decide. The President’s actions must be taken beyond face value and beyond the opinions of the television anchors. They must be considered with a great deal of maturity and open-mindedness. There is no better way to truly understand what it is that you want to see in an executive.