from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecutionrnand punishment in the ordinary course of law.rnThe person of the king of Great Britain is sacred andrninviolable; there is no constitutional tribunal to whichrnhe is amenable; no punishment to which he can be subjected.rn. . .rnThe President will have onlv the occasional commandrnof such part of the militia of the nation as by legislativernprovision mav be called into the actual service of thernUnion…. [The power] of the British king extends to therndeclaring of war and to the raising and regulating ofrnfleets and armies—all which, b the Constitution underrnconsideration, would appertain to tlie legislature… .rnThe President is to have power, with the advice andrnconsent of the Senate, to make treaties, pro idcd twothirdsrnof the senators present concur. The King of GreatrnBritain is the sole and absolute representative of the nationrnin all foreign transactions. I le can of his own accordrnmake treaties of peace, commerce, alliance, and of cvervrnother description. . . .rnThe President is to nominate and, with the advice andrnconsent of the Senate, to appoint ambassadors and otherrnpublic ministers.. .. The king of Great Britain is cmphaticallvrnand truly styled the fountain of honor. He not onl^rnappoints to all offices, but can create offices. I le canrnconfer titles of nobilitv at pleasure . . . and . .. [cven|rnmake denizens of aliens.rnI The President] can prescribe no rules concerning therncommerce or currency’ of the nation; [the king] is in se-rneral respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacityrncan establish markets and fairs, can regulate weightsrnand measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, canrncoin money. . . . What answer shall we give to those whornwould persuade us that things so unlike resemble eachrnother?rnWfcll, we can debate whether I lamilton was naive about the imperialrnoffice he was in fact creating or whether he was a despicablernliar. But the fact remains that in his writings, despite hisrnreputation as a backer of the exalted presidency’, he is by today’srnstandards a congressional supremacist. For that matter, and inrncomparison with today’s presidency, so was the British king.rnMost historians agree that there would have been no presidenevrnapart from George Washington, who was trustedrnbv the people as a true gentleman, and was presumed to understandrnwhat the American Revolution was all about. But he gotrnoff track by attempting to suppress the Whiskev Rebellion, althoughrnhe at least acknowledged that his actions went beyondrnthe strict letter of the Constitution. But though the presidencyrnquickly spun out of control, at its antebellum yvorst it had nothingrnin common with today’s exeeuti c state.rnhi those days, you could live your life and never even noticernthat the presidency existed. You had no contact yvith it. Mostrnpeople could not vote anyway, thank goodness, and you did notrnhave to, but certain rights and freedoms yvere guaranteed regardlessrnof whoever took hold of this—b)’ today’s standards—rnlargclv ceremonial position. The presidencv could not tax you,rndraft you, or regulate your trade. It could not inflate your money,rnsteal vour kids, or impose itself on your community. Promrnthe standpoint of the average American, the presidency yvas almostrninvisible.rnListen [o yvhat Toequeville observed in 1831: “The Presidentrni s . . . the executor of the laws; but he does not reallv co-operaternin making them, since the refusal of his assent does not preventrntheir passage. He is not, therefore, a part of the sovereign poyver,rnbut only its agent…. The President is placed beside the legislaturernlike an inferior and dependent poyver.” The office ofrnPresident of the United States is “temporary, limited, and subordinate.rn. . . [W]hen he is at the head of government he hasrnbut little poyver, little yvealth, and little glory to share among hisrnfriends; and his influence in the state is too small for the successrnor the ruin of a faction to depend upon his elevation to poyver.rn… The influence yvhich the President exercises on public businessrnis no doubt feeble and indirect.”rnThirty years later, Lincoln destroyed all this, fundamentallvrnchanging the nature of the government, as even his apologistsrnadmit. I le became a Caesar, in complete contradiction to mostrnof the Framers’ intentions. As Acton said, he abolished the primaryrncontribution that America had made to the world, thernprinciple of federalism. But that is an old story.rnLess yvell knoyvn is hoyv Wilson revived Lincoln’s dictatorialrnpredilections, and added to them an even more millennial east.rnMoreover, this yvas his intention before he yvas elected, hi 1908,rnyvhile still president of Princeton, he yvrote a small book entitledrnThe President of the United States. It yy as a paean to the imperialrnpresidency, and might as yvcll be the bible of every Presidentrnyvlio folloyyed him. He yvent beyond Lincoln, yvlio praised thernexercise of poyver. Wilson longed for a presidential niessiah torndeliver the human race.rn”There can be no successful government,” Wilson begins,rn”y itliout leadership or yvithout the intimate, almost instinctive,rncoordination of the organs of life and action…. We have groyvnrnmore and more from generation to generation to look to thernPresident as the unifying force in our complex system…. To dornso is not inconsistent with the actual provisions of the Constitution;rnit is onlv inconsistent with a verv mechanical theory ofrnits meaning and intention.” The President must be a “manrnyyho understands his own day and the needs of flie country, andrnyvho has the personality and the initiative to enforce his vieyvsrnboth upon the people and upon Congress. . . . He is not sornmuch part of its organization as its vital link of connection withrnthe thinking nation . . . he is also the political leader of the nation.rn. . . The nation as a yvhole has chosen him. . . . Let himrnonce yvin the admiration and confidence of the country, and nornother single force can yvithstand him, no combination of forcesrnwill easily overpower him. His position takes the imagination ofrnthe country. He is the representative of no constituency, but ofrnthe yvhole people.. . . the country never feels the zest of actionrnso much as yvlien its President is of such insight and caliber. Itsrninstinct is for unified action, and it craves a single leader.”rn”The President is at liberty,” Wilson continues, “both in layvrnand conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity yvillrnset flic limit . . . he is the onlv spokesman of the yvhole people.rn[Finally, Presidents should regard] themselves as less and lessrnexecutive officers and more and more directors of affairs andrnleaders of the nation,—men of counsel and of the sort of actionrnthat makes for enlightenment.”rnThis is not a theory of the presidency. It is the hope for a newrnmessiah. That indeed is yvhat the presidency has come to. Butrnany man yvho accepts this view is not a free man. He is not arnman yvho understands yvhat constitutes civilized life. The manrnwho accepts yvhat Wilson calls for is an apostle of the total staternand a defender of collectivism and despotism.rn.30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn