United States presidential election, 2008: Imperial President

In an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor, Gene Healy, vice-president of the libertarian think tank Cato Institute and author of The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, examines the role of the U.S. President, and concludes that so long as we embrace – or even tolerate – the idea that the president is the guardian of our national soul, we have little right to complain about our burgeoning Imperial Presidency.

“The men who designed our Constitution never thought of the president as America’s ‘national leader.’ Indeed, for them, the very notion of ‘national leadership’ raised the possibility of authoritarian rule by a demagogue who would create an atmosphere of crisis in order to enhance his power.”

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