Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food for Thought on Presidential Policies

Someone on Boundless.org made an interesting comment about how governments seem to prefer making policies that help in the short-term with little thought of the long-term consequences...

I realized the following and put it on another post:
Maybe that's a consequence of our 4-year election plan. Clearly, it wasn't Clinton that got the backlash for his poor legislation in the housing industry - instead, its all Bush's fault. There's no repercussions for Clinton (or Bush, or Obama) to make good, long-term decisions in their term...because THEY won't get credit for it when the policies start bearing fruit. Better make the quick fix to keep people happy while I'm president and let the next guy take the fall for it.

You didn't have that with life-long leaders that cared. They needed economic prosperity LONG TERM to keep life good for them. Short-term was short compared to a life-time of issues later on. I know there are democracies out there that elect only at the death of a leader. At least maybe a longer tenure would be better...things seem to go by decades. 10 years seems enough...and no re-election after =p

1 comment:

Lost in The World said...

But if there is one thing you can count on with a politician it's their being vain. And while in the short run, they often get shafted by an under informed public, historians are constantly pointing out the long term repercussions of the policies of the presidents. That's why Clinton worked like a dog to ensure people talked about more than Lewinsky-gate during his final days, and why Bush had a reporter chronicling his fight to put the surge into effect, against the wishes of the joint chiefs of staff. (Which, personally, I thought was a bit of a jerk move, as Washington said at Charleston, "Quiet boys. Posterity will huzzah for you.") So you see, while there is a short term force affecting the presidency, there are also long term forces as well.

But with a president for life, there is no way to effectively change an actively dreadful policy. You are stuck with whatever policy the potentate gives you. This is in direct disagreement with the American policy of accountable representation. By far, the most popular campaign slogan in the 200 plus years of American politics is quite simple: “Turn the Rascals out.” In the future, as now, as always, the worm will turn, and the people will once more cry, "Turn the Rascals out." Patience friends. Patience.