Mike Pence on the modern presidency

K.E. Campbell
In the current edition of Imprimis, a monthly digest published by Hillsdale College, there is an adaptation of a magnificent speech delivered by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) on September 20, 2010, at Hillsdale regarding presidential power, or the abuse thereof. It is a bit lengthy, but makes for a great pre-election weekend read. It's chock full of sage and timely insights and salient historical references regarding our plight and how we got here.

The premise of the piece, is that the modern presidency has drifted far from its source; the Constitution. The vast powers and requirements of the presidency are "impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility" and a president should "never forget that he has not risen above us, but is merely one of us, chosen by ballot, dismissed after his term, tasked not to transform and work his will upon us, but to bear the weight of decision and to carry out faithfully the design laid down in the
Constitution..."

A president "is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide or ruler. He does not command us; we command him. We serve neither him nor his vision. It is not his job or his prerogative to redefine custom, law, and beliefs; to appropriate industries; to seize the country, as it were, by the shoulders or by the throat so as to impose by force of theatrical charisma his justice upon 300 million others. It is neither his job nor his prerogative to shift the power of decision away from them, and to him and the acolytes of his choosing..."

It seems that Rep. Pence, House Republican Conference Chairman, truly gets it. Let's hope he is joined by many other like-minded citizen-legislators on Tuesday and that our country regains at least a semblance of balance of power.

In the current edition of Imprimis, a monthly digest published by Hillsdale College, there is an adaptation of a magnificent speech delivered by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) on September 20, 2010, at Hillsdale regarding presidential power, or the abuse thereof. It is a bit lengthy, but makes for a great pre-election weekend read. It's chock full of sage and timely insights and salient historical references regarding our plight and how we got here.

The premise of the piece, is that the modern presidency has drifted far from its source; the Constitution. The vast powers and requirements of the presidency are "impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility" and a president should "never forget that he has not risen above us, but is merely one of us, chosen by ballot, dismissed after his term, tasked not to transform and work his will upon us, but to bear the weight of decision and to carry out faithfully the design laid down in the
Constitution..."

A president "is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide or ruler. He does not command us; we command him. We serve neither him nor his vision. It is not his job or his prerogative to redefine custom, law, and beliefs; to appropriate industries; to seize the country, as it were, by the shoulders or by the throat so as to impose by force of theatrical charisma his justice upon 300 million others. It is neither his job nor his prerogative to shift the power of decision away from them, and to him and the acolytes of his choosing..."

It seems that Rep. Pence, House Republican Conference Chairman, truly gets it. Let's hope he is joined by many other like-minded citizen-legislators on Tuesday and that our country regains at least a semblance of balance of power.