Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Domestic debate a mistake?

Tonight is the third and final presidential debate. It will be held in the desert at Arizona State University. The candidates are supposed to stick to domestic issues. It's hard to picture how any debate can take place without a mention of the War on Terror and 9/11. After all, jobs and the economy were drastically affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center.

It is my opinion that holding an entire presidential debate on domestic issues is a mistake. There is far too much focus on domestic issues in a presidential race. I realize that this is a bold statement to make, but I have thought this through.

The office of the President of the United States is created by Article II of the Constitution. Sections 2 and 3 of Article II outline the duties of the President. The President is the Commander in Chief of the military. The President has the power to conduct foreign policy and appoint ambassadors. The President also has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices and other officers of the United States.

There is no mention in the United States Constitution of the President being responsible for a domestic agenda. Under the Constitution, legislation falls squarely in the province of the Congress. A domestic agenda is the responsibility of the legislature.

So, as you watch the debate tonight (or not), please keep the proper role of the President in mind. John Kerry has spent a lot of time in recent days trying to focus the discussion away from foreign policy and onto the economy. However, I submit that foreign policy and judicial nominations should be almost the entire focus of the presidential campaign season.