Should the American electorate ever mistakenly elect for its president a person who is bullheaded, racist, misogynist, ignorant, illiterate, medically insane, un-diplomatic, and worst of all, dictatorial, how much damage could such a person do, and how would America get rid of him?
This question is part of a much wider question, because most Western governments are structered in the same way. At the top there is the President, or Prime Minister, or Premier, and that person has a Cabinet that is comprised of Secretaries, or Ministers. Those people hold great power and are usually well taken care of. However, they serve at the pleasure of the person at the top. Failure to support the chief can be expected to lead to those dreaded words, "You're Fired!"
I think what generally hapens in most countries is that the person at the top, whom I will call the CEO, chooses a policy directive which is then supported by the cabinet and the members of Parliament, if the same party holds a majority.
A classic example of this was the sitting president at the time who wanted to bring about regime change in Iraq. This was an unpopular directive that brought American forces into harm's way, which many thought was based on a pretext. Since the war people are more outspoken against that action, but the fact remains that America was dragged into a war that it did not want to be involved in.
Was that something that happened as a result of a dictatorial decree?
It is possible that in America a president dictator, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces could seek , with the assistance of The Secretary of Defence, to divert those forces for his own purposes, and to turn them against the population of America.
That seems to be a close existing reality when we consider that many police forces in the country have extensive military munitions, and under the Homeland Security powers many freedoms once held no longer exists. Certainly, the armed forces can be deployed within the country to face a domestic threat, and those can possibly be manufactured at will.
How can the excesses of such a loose cannon in the White House be controlled? Fortunately, under the Constitution a sitting president can be fired if members of the Senate and the House of Representatives deem appropriate. They effectively fired Richard Nixon, and they sought to fire Bill Clinton.
However, before that could happen the Commander-in-Chief could issue orders to the armed forces that could be directly counter to the interests of the country. It would take some very determined generals to say no. It is also why so many people think they need to posses so many guns and ammunition so that if an attempt was made to control the country by a dictator president, who would clearly be a megalomanic, they would be ready to fight their own armed forces.
The choice of who to elect as president, or Prime Minister or Premier is a weighty one with awesome possibilities, both good and bad. It is one of the most serious responsibilities a voter can have.
Copyright (c) 2015 Eugene Carmichael