Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

A Deeper Look at Presidential Politics

Over the years the president has played a major role in our political system. Presidential elections now last many months. This year has been one for the history books when it comes to elections, not only for political change but also for diversity within congress.

 “The presidency was not initially designed to be the face of American Government, but it quickly became the face of American Government,” said Paul Rutledge, Associate Professor of Political Science. “The presidency is the office in which people look to in times of crisis. It sets the policy agenda for Congress and advances proposals to policy solutions through the legislative process.  The president is the face of our nation to foreign citizens and leaders, and it is no exaggeration to call the president the leader of the free world.”

With the importance of the presidency rising over the years, voters have viewed it as a chance to bring change. As a result of wanting change Biden received the popular vote ahead of Trump. As a result many national news stations predicted Biden’s Electoral College win. However, the Electoral College still has to vote and verify elections for the next president to officially be named.

“The Electoral College is a hot topic because for debate,” said Rutledge. “Many folks, including some political scientists have argued for the Electoral College to be abolished.

 “To support that argument, in fact, the Electoral College’s original intent by the framers of our Constitution was to separate the president from the people by having a body of electors choose the president,” continued Rutledge. “Historically, it has been rare, however, to see any elector vote differently than the citizens of the state they represent.”

Biden, as predicted by polls and news outlets, will hold office come January, with this presidential actions and perspective might be different for the years to come. President Trump made history by becoming the first president to effectively use social media to talk directly to his supporters, and the American people. It is hard to say whether or not Biden will continue that tradition once he becomes president or if other future presidential candidates will take that same approach in the future.

“Vice President Biden is much more in line with what we are used to in our presidents,” said Rutledge. “However, without question, the lack of a concession and the lack of cooperation thus far during the transition will hurt the chances of the Biden administration getting off to as good of a start as possible. The peaceful transition of power is extremely important, as is helping the incoming president to establish a foundation for success.”

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

Although the presidential election is important they also require a lot of focus for both politicians and voters. Local elections play a major role as well. Currently both special senate elections in Georgia are predicted to go into a runoff. If voting numbers are lower in the runoff election than the presidential election in Georgia, this can lead to what Georgian voters actually want for their state. Local elections allow for the true voice of the voter to be heard directly.

“I also think that citizens focus too much on the presidency,” said Rutledge. “Citizens should focus as much attention to what is going on in Congress, who their representatives are, and what is going on in states and localities.

“The unorthodox presidency of Donald Trump made this even clearer, and citizens would have benefitted from a stronger focus on Congress, states and localities as well as the president,” continued Rutledge. “It is very important to know who your representatives are and what is happening in Congress, state legislatures and local governments, where citizens can also have a much bigger impact than they can comparatively on presidential politics.”



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