De-legitimizing the American Presidency

When I was in graduate school, my roommate and I used to joke about how to de-legitimize the American presidency.

We couldn’t have drawn up a better blueprint than Donald Trump and Joe Biden.


1. Both the 2016 and 2020 elections have been called illegitimate.

2. Trump was impeached twice, and if Republicans take control of the House in 2023, Biden will likely follow.

3. Trump didn’t gild the White House, but he certainly transformed the image of the office. It was more WWE than George Washington.

4. Biden rarely knows where he is or what to do. He is an empty suit.

5. Both Trump and Biden were constantly undermined by those in either the Deep State or their own administrations, meaning neither really ran the show.

6. Both Trump and Biden have been forced to admit that there are domestic decisions out of their control, i.e. “lockdowns” and “vaccine mandates”, and that the States need to do this work.

7. Questions about “foreign interference” dog both administrations.

8. Biden’s “Dark Brandon” speech in Philadelphia has been mocked as “authoritarian”, and Biden was forced to backtrack the next day.

9. Trump’s hammering of “fake news” led to extreme skepticism on both sides of the political spectrum. No one believes the media, and fewer the government.

10. The January 6 show trials have undermined confidence in the executive branch, the Congress, and establishment Republicans. Glorious.

I could go on, but you get the picture. The political class only knows how to destroy people, and Trump will certainly take the fall for his four years in office. He dared challenge their authority. At the same time, anyone with eyes can see that Biden is being controlled by outside parties, thus proving that the “President” is rarely in control of the executive branch.

These are great developments. Now we need to capitalize on them.

If we all thought locally and acted locally, the presidency would not matter except in regard to foreign policy. This was the founders’ design.

As I wrote yesterday, very few members of the founding generation wanted an American king, and George Mason argued that an elected king was the worst of the worst.

If Americans can get over their love affair with executive government and start thinking about real federalism, we could turn this ship around.

I discuss de-legitimizing the presidency on episode 710 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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