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Lee Wrights: Presidential candidates should read the job description

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  • Brian Irving
    *Presidential candidates should read the job description * *by R. Lee Wrights* BURNET, Texas (Nov. 5) - One of the first things you do when you re applying for
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2011
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      *Presidential candidates should read the job description *

      *by R. Lee Wrights*

      BURNET, Texas (Nov. 5) - One of the first things you do when you're
      applying for a job is to read the job description to find out the
      qualifications, duties and responsibilities of the office. After listening
      to years of presidential campaign speeches and debates, it seems to me that
      most candidates for the office simply haven't read the job description for
      President of the United States. The Founding Fathers wrote it some 200
      years ago, and despite some wear and tear, it is still perhaps one of the
      finest job descriptions ever written for the leader of a free republic.

      The presidential job description was drafted, refined and honed during the
      months of the Constitutional Convention held in 1787. The duties of the
      President of the United States are outlined in Article II. The placement is
      deliberate. The first article of the Constitution establishes the Congress,
      the legislative branch, because the Founders believed the legislative was
      the most important function of government. As if to emphasize that point,
      the first mention of the President of the United States in the Constitution
      is in Article I, Section 7. This section says he must sign a bill passed by
      Congress before it becomes law. If he does not sign it, or he vetoes it, it
      can only become law if two-thirds of each House vote to approve it.

      So what does the presidential job description say? First, there are three
      simple qualifications: you must be a natural-born citizen, 35 years old,
      and a United States resident for 14 years. I am all three. The "selection
      committee" for the job is technically the Electoral College, composed of
      people chosen by the states." But in reality, it is the people of the
      United States who hire the president. The length of service is four years.

      The first thing a new president does is to take an oath. It is a plain and
      simple oath, similar to the one I took many years ago when I enlisted in
      the U.S. Air Force. The oath states: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that
      I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and
      will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the
      Constitution of the United States." But in those few words lie some very
      powerful sentiments.

      Article II, Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution lists the specific duties
      of the president. One of the duties most discussed, and most abused, is his
      role as "commander-in-chief" of the Army and Navy, and of the state militia
      "when called into the service of the United States." That last phrase is
      usually omitted when anyone speaks of the "commander-in-chief" but it is
      important. The president only commands the state militia, in modern terms
      that means the National Guard, under certain circumstances. Nor does this
      title make the president "commander-in-chief" of the United States, or any
      of the states, or the people. And it does not give him the authority to
      declare or wage war.

      Alexander Hamilton, even though an advocate of a strong chief executive,
      made it clear in Federalist No. 69 that the title of commander-in-chief
      amounted to "nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the
      military and naval forces" and not to declaring war or raising and
      recruiting military forces. Such powers were specifically vested in
      Congress, because the Founders had direct experience of the tyranny that
      results when the executive, in their case the King of England, can raise
      and recruit armies and navies, and take the country to war without

      If you will pardon a civics lesson, here's a list of the other duties in
      the job description for President of the United States:

      - Nominate and appoint ambassadors, again with the approval of the Senate;

      - Appoint other public Ministers and consuls, subject to Senate approval;

      - Appoint judges of the Supreme Court, and inferior federal courts, with
      Senate approval;

      - Appoint all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are
      not otherwise provided for in the Constitution or by law;

      - Fill vacancies during Senate recesses, but only until the Senate

      - Give to the Congress "information of the State of the Union," and
      recommend legislation;

      - Convene both House and Senate on "extraordinary Occasions," or adjourn
      either or both of them if they can't agree on adjournment;

      - Receive Ambassadors and other public ministers;

      - "Take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," and;

      - Commission all the officers of the United States, that is, military

      That's a very short list. Most of the duties simply have to do with
      appointing people to office. There is nothing in there about taxes, health
      care, jobs, education or the myriad of other things presidential candidates
      make promises about. The key point, however, is that all the power given to
      the president, all his duties, especially the duty to "take care that the
      laws be faithfully executed" must be understood in the context of the oath
      of office. As president, I fully intend to take very, very good care that
      the laws are faithfully executed.

      By that I mean that if a law is not faithful to the original intent of the
      Constitution -- if it in fact does harm to the Constitution -- I will not
      enforce it, nor let anyone in the executive department enforce it. If the
      Congress sends me a proposed law that does not have a direct basis in any
      of the specified and enumerated powers granted to the federal government
      under the Constitution, I will veto it. And even if they pass it over my
      veto, I will not enforce it.

      Anyone I nominate to the Supreme Court or to any federal court will have a
      clear understanding of the concept of original intent. They will believe,
      as I do, that the Constitution established a government with specific,
      enumerated and limited power. Anyone I select for a federal office will be
      willing to conduct their duties with the understanding, as Thomas Jefferson
      wrote, that "The equal rights of man and the happiness of every individual
      are the only legitimate objects of government." In short, I will conduct
      the office of President of the United States by heeding the advice of the
      Founding Fathers, who believed that when it came to power, you should not
      rely on "confidence in man," but rather, bind him from mischief " by the
      chains of the Constitution."

      *R. Lee Wrights, 53, a libertarian writer and political activist, is
      seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian
      message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war.
      To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign
      will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be
      heard in all 50 states. Wrights is a lifetime member of the **Libertarian
      Party <http://lp.org/>**and co-founder and editor of the free speech online
      magazine **Liberty For All <http://libertyforall.net/>**. Born in
      Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.*

      *Lee Wrights for President
      <http://www.wrights2012.com/>*Contact: *Brian Irving <press@...>
      *, press secretary

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