Presidential Power And The Modern Presidents

Presidential Power And The Modern Presidents

Despite the power of the American presidency, little studies were done on it in any systematic manner, until Richard E. Neustadt, a historian at Harvard University, began studying it. Among others, the key conclusion was this: the power of the American presidents come from the ability to persuade. Hence, the American presidents is most effective and powerful, in terms of his "speech acts."

This is different from the president's numerous speeches. Indeed, "speech acts" confer the authority and aspiration to appeal to the higher consciousness of the American electorate. While this is all useful and appealing in understanding the US presidency from George Washington to Barack Obama, one has to wonder if the same can be said of president elect Trump ?

Trump tends to use the podium as a bully-pulpit. It is from there he excoriates and scolds the press; beyond using it to extol his own virtues. Given the narcissistic side to the Trump phenomenon, one must now wonder if what Richard E. Neustadt say will still hold water ? Come what may, the world is now confronted with an American president that is a manifestation of the "white-lash." As the first president from the far right, the institutional underpinnings of the US will also come undone.