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American Presidency - Essay Example

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The issue of the executive privilege of the president is one that has caused increased controversy in the political high-ground of the United States of America. The issue is the fact that presidential privilege has both desirable and negative impacts especially where the…
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American Presidency American Presidency and Executive Privilege The issue of the executive privilege of the president is one thathas caused increased controversy in the political high-ground of the United States of America. The issue is the fact that presidential privilege has both desirable and negative impacts especially where the President fails to hold the office in high esteem as he or she should. Presidential privilege was constructed with the need to help the presidency to be able to function well. The president may, for instance, in many cases find himself in situations where he needs crucial advice from advisers and he may want this information, as well as, its source to be kept secret. While this makes the presidency smooth to function, it also creates a fault line between the presidency and the other arms of the government, making the sharing of power by these three arms of the government more difficult.
Needless to say, synergetic functioning of these three arms of the government is important because of a number of issues. First, the presidency is the only part of the government that is held by one individual and in cases where the individual fails to hold this office in high esteem such as was the case with Richard Nixon’s presidency, there is likely to be a very big damage. Secondly, the presidency needs checks and balances to be in place to always make sure that the integrity of the government is maintained. This leads to a paradox where the executive privilege of the presidency is needed abut at the same time is the risk that this privilege may be abused by office holders.
The only solution, therefore, is to create boundaries that define which aspects of the presidency can benefit from these presidential privileges. However, creating these boundaries may not be easy since the functions that the president plays on a daily basis are versatile and not easy to handle. There have been many situations where the issue of presidential executive privilege has been put to trial. One of the most significant of this was the Richard Nixon’s presidency during his trial after he was charged with abuse of the presidential office. The court ruled that although the office of the president enjoyed the presidential privilege, this privilege was not absolute. In this case, where the court feels that the presidential privilege has more negative implications than positive ones, it may require the peeling off of these privileges. A similar decision was reached in Bill Clinton’s time where the court decided that the number of advisers that the president can have who are protected by the presidential privileges is limited.
A closer look at the issue of presidential privilege points to one important issue. The first issue is the issue of the need to make the president’s office to be more functional and to function without any bottlenecks affecting its activities. The office is a source of many dynamic decisions which are made every day. Some of these decisions are not popular ones, but should be made; nonetheless, placing the office under scrutiny may maim the functioning of the office. On the other hand, giving too much presidential privilege may heighten the risk of abuse of this abuse, and this is risk considering the fact that this is the higher political office in the US with powers which if abused can lead to highly suitable that are highly regrettable for the whole nations. Achieving a balance between giving the president some executive privilege and placing the office under checks and balances is highly important. Read More
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