Article Ii Of The Us Constitution Grants The President Numerous Powers And Responsibilities Government Paper

1437 words - 6 pages

Article II of the US Constitution grants the president numerous powers and responsibilities, but the authority granted to the modern presidency far exceeds the constitutional definition of office. And through the years, a variety of presidential roles have evolved that were not originally or specifically outlined in the Article. Some of these roles were legislated by congress, the courts granted some, and powerful presidents assumed others. The presidents first role is as chief executive, the head of the executive branch and most of its workers. He is responsible for the ethics, loyalty, efficiency, and responsiveness of the federal government and its employees. The evolution of the chief executives primary role provides a useful example of how the presidential power has developed through the years. At the outset, the Constitution granted the chief executive the power to appoint all officials in the executive branch, but after George Washingtons term. Custom gave the chief executive power to remove appointees. Finally, legislation granted him the power to reorganize agencies and to prepare the budgets. In the role of chief of state, the president acts as a ceremonial head of the federal government. This is an extremely important role, for in this capacity, the president must greet distinguished visitors, bestow medals, and host state dinners. The impression he gives others while performing these duties can help him gain support, lift his reputation, and help towards reelection. President William Howard Taft once said the president must act as the personal embodiment and representative of the dignity and majesty of the people, the government, and the laws of the United States. The president also serves as commander in chief of the nations armed forces, which makes him ultimately responsible for the nations defense. He appoints and removes generals, makes key military decisions (such as when and where to wage war), and negotiates armistice terms. During wartime emergencies, the president is also entitled to restrict civil liberties, to exert greater control over the economy, to seize industries, to fix wages and prices, and to settle labor disputes. Finally the commander in chief alone decides when and if the nation will use its atomic weapons. This role is extremely important because in acting out his decisions, the president is deciding the future of the nation, and we the people are putting extreme powers in the hands of one man. Though he is influenced by his associates and generals about the proper actions in times of political crisis, the last decision is up to the president. People who are not supporters of the president or his decisions tend to panic in times of war, and thus it is extremely important that the president makes the impression to the nation as a competent and capable man who one can have faith in. Another extremely important role that the president takes on is that of the nations chief diplomat. Although the Constitution...

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