Skip to comments.Shaping the Presidency Part IV
Posted on 08/15/2019 1:26:14 AM PDT by Jacquerie
Subtitle: June 4th.
Benjamin Franklin - The first man at the helm will be a good one.
The road to the Framers Electoral College was . . . arduous. At the open of todays business, again in the committee-of-the-whole, one man would hold the executive office, be elected by the House of Representatives, and would remain in office for one seven-year term. His duty was to execute the law and the executive powers granted to Congress in the Articles of Confederation.
One and all knew perfectly well who was to be the first good man in the executive office. We cannot measure the influence and commanding presence of the most famous and trusted George Washington. Delegate Pierce Butler (SC) later wrote to a friend the powers of the President are full great, and greater than I was disposed to make them. Nor do I believe they would have been so great had not many of the members cast their eyes towards General Washington as President. The American Presidency was made for men like George Washington and Donald Trump. It was not established for the likes of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
Ultimately, how was the American executive to be not only strong and energetic like the British Monarch, but also be safe for liberty? Our Framers admired the British system. While it would not do for Americans, the powers of Parliament and King hovered over the delegates. After the Convention, Luther Martin (MD) remarked, We were eternally troubled with arguments and precedents from the British government.
Like every other delegate, Franklin knew the first man at the helm would be a good one, but unless they devised an adequate electoral system, the Executive power would certainly increase, as elsewhere, until it ended in monarchy.
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