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Why do people blame the president?

So I was on facebook and I saw the picture of president obama and below it said something about failed promises. I mean do people not know how the system works? Congress, not the president makes the laws and votes on the laws and changes the laws. The president can suggest a bill but not make one or present it before the house or the senate. He can turn down a law, but then congress can over throw that. So why do we blame the president for only being able to do speeches and pencil pushing?

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  • Jan 21 2014: The president is not only a role to be played in government, its also a symbol. People see him as a face for the entire US federal government.

    Doesn't make it true by any means, but people's perceptions are rarely rational, and dealing with complex systems (as in, something that actually reflects the reality around them) is a difficult process most people prefer to avoid.
  • Jan 22 2014: As some of the other responders have mentioned, ignorance of political process is a big factor in misguided public opinion. There is also a dysfunctional trench warfare between the two parties that has led to so much high profile muck-raking and character assassination that our country has lost faith in all politicians. There seems to have been a sell-out of responsible journalism and a feeding frenzy among television sales executives allowing a constant horrific negative bombastic assault on the American public through the media at election time. This negativity retards our pursuit of happiness and reduces the prestige of our elected officials. There need to be reform in the campaign process to prevent the incomer from entering the office as the result of a swirling media cesspool following a flush on election night.

    People want to blame the President and Congress because it is easier to blame someone for a state of affairs or condition that you do not like than to think, work, fight for and make personal sacrifices to improve the condition.

    People like to take the path of least resistance.
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      Jan 22 2014: Robert,
      You make some points about personal responsibility. It seems evident that Americans as a group don't like elections. In a recent local election in a large city, about 10% of eligible voted and the winner got about 4%. He declared a landslide. I believe that most Americans want elected officials to take care of governmental business and let them get on with their lives... I believe most Americans are disturbed by the reported commotion at the Federal level. However, isn't it how the founding fathers saw the operation of government, vigorous debate on what law should be?
      Americans seem not to want to watch sausage or law being made.
      But, in this case, from 2007 to 2009, American society was racked with a number of dysfunctional situations: "banking failures, job losses, real estate devaluation"... the list goes on. Now, a charismatic public speaker comes on the scene from relative obscurity and inspires hope in his message of ending all the national problems and prosperity for all. Well, in his first term, things did not get much better. For his second term, he told America that he should be reelected as the problems were greater then he imagined and it would take more time....
      Americans again believed in him and he was reelected. As another year goes by and things are not leveling off, but continue getting worse and that is leading people to a negative response... like a jilted woman, the American public is angry and this anger is going to be expressed.
      • Jan 23 2014: Mike,

        I believe the founding fathers did want debate (and I am for it as well), but debate is the process of inquiry and advocacy, seeking a reasoned judgement on a proposition. News reports are not debate. Our forefathers also lived in a time when honor was taken seriously. Say the wrong thing to offend someone's honor and you might be involved in a duel. Say the wrong thing in a different country and you might lose your head. What happens in the media reporting of our country's political process is neither honorable nor debate.

        Not everyone needs to know how the sausage is made, only understand the process to the extent that they believe it is safe to eat. There is room for the whole range of people in the sausage making process. Sausage eaters, sausage makers, and everyone in between needs to trust and respect each other in the process, and as a result both can enjoy sausage.

        Capitalism is based on pursuit of profits in free enterprise. Our laws do a reasonable job of setting boundaries to protect the weak from the strong and to maintain civil order, but they are no substitute for honor, integrity and personal responsibility at all levels. Exploiting legal loop holes, finding ways around the system, pushing the envelope to optimize what you can get away all represent a sell out of business ethics, for power and/or profits. Corporate greed has created problems by violating the intent of laws and decent public behavior. Corporate citizenship needs to be determined by example, not campaign or charity contributions.

        Our election process has evolved into something where speaker charisma is a requirement. The candidates speak of hopes and dreams for the future by focusing on the best case scenario. No one wants to hear the unknowns and worst case scenario. Holding a man accountable for unrealized dreams, even if they were couched as promises seems like folly. Is he trying his best to make these things happen? Is he leading? Is he a good man? These are my criteria.
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      Jan 22 2014: WELL SAID ROBERT!

      I totally agree...ignorance of political process... misguided public opinion... dysfunctional trench warfare between the two parties... high profile muck-raking and character assassination...people have lost faith in politicians, and in the process.... sell-out of responsibility....swirling media cesspool...easier to blame someone than to think and work toward improving the condition.

      I'd like to give you 100 thumbs up for that comment....I think you hit on the reasons some people want to blame one person!
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    Jan 24 2014: So, as I read some responses, The President is merely window dressing put up to divert attention from the real power brokers who are staying out of the public eye. OK, I can understand that position. He was merely a pawn and has little or no responsibility for the failures of his administration's programs. And we all can concur there has been failures in this administrations programs.
    Others have commented that he came into office with a number of plans to better America and the federal governmental system has prevented him from executing his plans. OK, I can understand that position.
    If the first scenario is true, his is a pawn, then I will blame him for being used like that. He is not dumb, so if it is true, he did it for the perks? And let his puppet masters ruin the county?
    On the other hand, if he really had ideas that he thought we the best for the country, why did he run into so much resistance, why hasn't he make the effort to convince congress of the value of his ideas. What has been reported is that he told congress "it's my way or the highway"
    In the first two years of his first election, his party had control of both houses of congress... His biggest success was his health insurance program, unemployment kept going up and so did the deficit. He lost the House after two years but has kept the Senate, not that weak a political position, yet he has said he is not able to do what he wants so he will govern by executive fiat.... This is why I blame the president, he wants to rule America instead of being President as defined by our Constitution.
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        Jan 31 2014: Brendan.
        I was a generation before you, so when the Age of Aquarius came into being, I was apprehensive, I know, I was being prejudge-mental, and I guess stuff happened that made the FBI and all those other alphabets chase hippies through the streets. But that was then and this is now.
        No argument that Barak Obama is a well polished public speaker with a beautiful family, congenial and friendly, the kind of guy you would enjoy having a beer at a back yard BBQ.
        But none of that is what I was criticizing the current administration.
        There has been a Federal Administration that has produced no measurable reduction of national political challenges, the national debt is ever increasing, the number of people not working is ever increasing, instead of promised health care, we got a botched health insurance program, a few positive steps the administration has had are so lost in the complete mess of all the other things.
        The frosting on my cake is how credit is taken for success of others, how failures are the results of others, how so much is out of the administration's control.
        My problem is that I am not some..... that says, oh, look he is a of minority race and so nice he should get away with leading the most self serving and ineffective administration in the country's history.
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        Feb 1 2014: No,
        I do realize, that there is a greater threat to this president then others. He was considered at first as.... sympathetic... to many in the Muslim world. He did not live up to their expectations,
        I would not be surprised if some suicide bomber somewhere was planning on ways to get to him. Again, there could be some redneck thinking about the race and making a name for himself in history, but the most scary is some soldier or family member who feels mightily wronged.
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    Jan 24 2014: Oh, so true :(

    I feel that we do not reach the maturity of the adults and are still playing childish but bloody games, no matter what our age is.

    We do need a GREAT SAGE, a Teacher and thoughtful Adviser, not the brainless players and rulers. It's just a dream-proposal
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    Jan 23 2014: Why do people blame the president or their officials or representatives? They do because leaders promise a lot when they are candidates but fall short or fail to deliver when they are in office. Another reason? Because we are humans. Blaming each other is what we, humans, do a lot!
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    Jan 22 2014: Why do people blame the president? ... to read some of these responses, one would think that the oath of office for the president begins " Since I drew the short straw, I guess I am stuck ....
    Promises were made and promises where not kept. Of course, the failure for him to keep these promises where beyond his control, someone or some other group foiled his attempts to succeed. My response is: why did he make these promises if he didn't have the wherewithal to be successful? He did not draw a short straw. He sold the American public false hopes.
    Now, the President has taken some notable actions and made some laudable decisions, but the good he has done, I am afraid that he will not be remember for those actions only the failure of his promises.
    Yes, he fooled me once.... not twice.
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      Jan 23 2014: Mike,
      I agree with you...."the failure for him to keep these promises were beyond his control, someone or some other group foiled his attempts to succeed".

      I'm sure you are aware of the chaos in our government, and the inability to cooperate in the house and senate. If we are ever to move forward, that dynamic has to change, and it begins with us as part of the system. Bad mouthing, or trying to discredit someone because s/he is a member of the party which one does not support, does absolutely no good.

      As Justin Baskall insightfully points out in the introduction to this conversation...."do people not know how the system works? Congress, not the president makes the laws and votes on the laws and changes the laws. The president can suggest a bill but not make one or present it before the house or the senate. He can turn down a law, but then congress can over throw that. So why do we blame the president..."

      Those who want to blame one person, are doing so because of political reasons. If you want to cast blame, go back to the previous administration, where most of the chaos began.
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        Jan 23 2014: Hi Colleen,
        Do I cast blame on the previous administrations? Sure, and we can go back any number of administrations and find one that was any less contentious between the political parties? No.
        My disappointment is based upon his pronouncements and his non delivery.
        If, he had said that he would hold down Government spending to keep the debt at the level he inherited and did that. He could have developed low cost or free healthcare centers for people needing care. He could have done so much not to make things worse. I can not think of a less competent presidency including the one whose administration only lasted 6 weeks...
        You may think that I am being too judgmental, but as I said for every good thing I have seen accomplished, there are so many failures. Worse, his recent comments about doing things by fiat because he can't deal with congress.... our Constitution "suggests" that Presidents deal with opposing congresses and Supreme Courts that may not see the wisdom of his presidency. To me, the fact that he can't or doesn't want to "deal" is the admission that he is incompetent as president.
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          Jan 23 2014: Exactly Mike.....we can go back any number of administrations and find things that we do not agree with, or are disappointed about.

          I am sorry that you feel disappointed Mike, but life moves on, and we can be part of the problem, or part of the solution. Rehashing your disappointment doesn't seem to serve any useful purpose except to remind us of how disappointed you are.

          Obama did not have the cooperation of the house or senate to do some of the things he was trying to do.....that is very clear to a lot of people. You say....he could have done this....he could have done that......HE DOES NOT MAKE THE LAWS BY HIMSELF, AND HE DID NOT HAVE COOPERATION FROM THE HOUSE AND SENATE.

          You, of course are welcome to your own beliefs and perceptions, and I sincerely hope you can get over your disappointment and move on:>)
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    Jan 27 2014: The main reason why we have the problems we have today, whether with good or bad leaders, is human nature. For as long as there are humans, there will be finger-pointing, there will be whining and complaining, there will be blaming the other guy or the president.

    Nothing is good enough for everybody. Let's take an apple pie. It's not sweet enough, it's too sweet, it's not big enough, it's too big, it's xyz, it's not xyz, it's this, it's not this, it's that, it's not that ...

    It's no wonder why many people who are really qualified to lead don't run for office. They understand ...
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    • Jan 24 2014: Ok so I can understand why we forgot about it for a while what with 9/11 happening, but 2.3 trillion?
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    Jan 24 2014: People do not wish to blame themselves for selecting their President.

    2. People hate to admit that they cannot solve their problems by themselves, but in stead want a Big Government to take responsibilities for solving their problems, mainly created by people, their lack of knowledge and skills.

    I think if we, ourselves, ideally speaking , would be more knowledgeable, wiser, more ethical and productive based on our sound demands, we would not need any government, or social systems. Or perhaps , we would not even care who is sitting "up there"
    because we would be rulling our own life wisely.
    • Jan 24 2014: But are the presidents ever really our presidents? Consider that when we vote, we often vote by parties or for the devil we know or the best of the worst canidite. We have tonsettle for what the politician with enough money to continue believes in, not them settling for what we believe in.
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    Jan 23 2014: Robert,
    Points well taken. So,, in answer to your questions, I think....
    I am sure the President thinks he is trying, He has shown no effective leadership, .
    ... Now, he appears to be a good man. And that is a very important point. He seems to mostly appeal to the electorate on an emotional level. People so wanted him to succeed. I would have bought a used car from him.
    But,
    He had no real idea how to accomplish these promises. He promised jobs with "shovel ready projects" There were no shovel ready projects. He was going to get people healthcare. He may have gotten some people health insurance, while ruining health insurance for others. Worse, he may have severely restrictive sources to obtain healthcare. As one wag said "Hope and Change came to be Hope you can hold on to whatever change you have"
    Has he had some success, a few, but the failures, too many to list.
    Here is my point... I could have been just as bad a "President" as the one we elected.
    Americans elected someone who can not do the job.
    • Jan 23 2014: Understand your concerns. No argument there have been problems and failures. I am not ready to agree with the rating yet, I am not sure how blame for problems should be apportioned,and I am not sure the alternative would have done a better job.

      I may have voted for you however!

      Bob
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    R H 30+

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    Jan 23 2014: i would say because we still try to implement an 18th century governing model in a 21st century world.
    • Jan 24 2014: So what changes would you suggest? I think the constitution has done a fie job of holding up a major country going through as.many changes as we have in the last 200+ years
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    Jan 22 2014: even the power to suggest a law is pretty powerful. But surely the president has more power than any individual congressperson, surely he is the most powerful individual? And the power to veto is powerful, don't vetoes sometimes stand without being overturned? Plus the president is commander-in-chief of all the military and police forces?
  • Jan 22 2014: The campaigning president oversold his abilities to govern and lead. He's been given a huge hands off grace period by the media sharks thirsty for more breaking news. The same media has also excused him for his bipartisan political theater and celebrated for his party their recent success as a majority party. This is the same media that mercilessly criticized George Bush with celebrities and local newspaper hacks attacking the man and not his policies, daily. The vitriol was horrible to the last president and Democrats never cried foul.

    Some of the reasons he shouldn't have been elected have become predictions for why his administration has limped through a first term and seems disengaged in this second term. He has no professional experience. His resume is a page of community activism if that's even a job. He is still getting off lightly, playing more golf and vacationing than working.
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    Jan 22 2014: Reminds me of that line from a Rolling Stones song

    I shouted out,
    "Who killed the Kennedys?"
    When after all
    It was you and me
  • Jan 22 2014: Hi Justin,I think because of people expect the president in too high position:)They can't find balance from their own,So it's the president's luck?LoL
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    Jan 22 2014: I heard this from some people that in America you can't blame/curse any person except the president. Because if you say something wrong about other people which is found out, you'll probably be sued by others. But cursing president is safe.
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    Jan 22 2014: Justin,

    Yes, congress makes laws and if the president vetoes a law, congress can override a veto. But, that is not what has happened here.
    Let's examine the current presidency.
    Mr. Obama, a gifted speaker, was entered into his party's presidential race as an opposition to Mrs. Clinton, as there were factions in the Democratic Party that did not want a repeat of the Clinton Presidency some 8 years before.
    Mr. Obama was given to making campaign pledges on what he hoped to accomplish during his term of office. There were a number of them. He would stop the runaway deficit. He would lower the unemployment rate. He would end the wars in the middle east. He would bring healthcare to those who did not have access to healthcare.
    He inspired people and they voted him into office.
    But,
    The deficit has increased by 50%, The number of employed fell, He didn't really win the wars, he just walked away leaving the conflicts unresolved and instead of providing healthcare, he created a health insurance program that was to save a family at least $2500 a year in premiums and have additional benefits. But, The premiums where $2500 higher, what was not added where the thousands of new doctors needed and access to healthcare facilities. The new insurance cuts payments to doctors and has precipitated many people who had insurance to loose their insurance.
    Here in lies the story. President Obama inspired people with many promises and they voted him to be president. He didn't campaign on the fact that he was only able to make speeches and push pencils...
    Now, people are disappointed and frustrated. And they are vengeful, posting uncomplimentary comments on facebook.
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    Jan 21 2014: Why do people still blame Hitler and Stalin? It was ordinary people who ran the gulags and gas chambers.
    • Jan 22 2014: I can honnestly say I have no idea how to respond to you comparing obama to hitler or stalin. I get what you are saying that they as figureheads can cause a lot of damage, but still... wow
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        Jan 22 2014: The point I am making is just as you say - people need a figurehead to blame (regardless how how good/bad the figurehead is).
        Nelson Mandela was a figurehead who brought out the best in people; Hitler & Stalin brought out the worst in people. In the end it is the people "on the ground" who do the good/bad, and those actions are then attributed to the figurehead.