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  #281  
Old 02-18-2016, 09:42 AM
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Muhler - you ask such thoughtful, logical questions. It's not a common trait here in the US, IMHO.
Article 1 sections 9 and 10 make it really clear that the framers of the Constitution wanted nothing to do with Royalty or Nobility.
It's possible for an appointed person becomes the head of state (President, in our case). Two cases exist:
  • The elected Vice President is removed from office or dies. The sitting president appoints a New VP (approved by Congress). The sitting president somehow leaves office. The appointed VP then becomes President. This happened in my lifetime with Nixon's resignation and Ford replacing him.
  • Should both the Pres and the VP both leave office, then there is a line of succession. The Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate (both elected by their states and then elected to the role by their houses) are next in line. Following them is the Secretary of State, an appointed role. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United..._of_succession)
As to a ceremonial role - that also would require a Constitutional Amendment. Roles are delineated there already. I suppose a President could decide on someone to ceremonially rep the country at foreign occasions - but I doubt the Secretary of State and VP would appreciate that. Heck some people would say most VPs have held mostly ceremonial roles.

Your critique is duly noted. As a member of the 1/3 of the population that cares I think you miss a category. I am active politically. There have been many times I did not support the policy of the administration in my heart. But I also did not loath the administration per se. As my duly elected officials, I've always feel it my responsibility to support them while in office; they won the race after all. But I exercise my right of free speech and work to vote someone else in during the next election.
And there have been Presidents whose personalities I loathed - but that has nothing to do with policy.
BTW - all politics in the US are cyclic. If you look at history, we have gone through cycles where the Congress has be obstructionist. We have gone through cycles where Congress and the President worked together. That will happen again.
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  #282  
Old 02-18-2016, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by NotHRH View Post
I cannot wrap my head around this experiment. There are so many battle lines (racial/ethnic/religlious) drawn already, all I envision is utter chaos. No... not gonna happen...way too complicated. I realize this is just a thought experiment, but it would NOT be as easy as you explained it. The entertainment value of this topic is completely shut down after thinking about this for 3 seconds. Does any other American citizen see one positive image in their head when thinking about this?
Personally, I don't see a rationale for a country that has always been a republic like the US to become a monarchy. I can imagine a rationale though for a presidential republic like the US to become a parliamentary republic with a ceremonial president like Germany. It won't happen though because most Americans have a deeply rooted belief that the US system of government is the best in the world, which is actually not true IMHO, but nonetheless is something which, as I said, Americans have been conditioned to believe.

As for monarchy per se, I guess most people would agree that it is hard to defend the idea in the 21st century that the office of Head of State, even when that office is largely powerless, should be a monopoly of the firstborn child of a particular family. In fact, I think it only makes sense in countries where hereditary monarchy is an inherent part of the country's history (as in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, or Spain) or, alternatively, the current royal family has a strong historical connection with the country (as in the Netherlands, or even in post-independence Belgium).
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  #283  
Old 02-18-2016, 12:46 PM
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Thank you, Mbruno & AdmirerUS

Yes, I fully realize it must extremely difficult for a country born as a republic, with a political system based on representatives to become a monarchy.
So let's forget about that one.

Now you have a ceremonial head of state who is appointed (not elected, that's important!), with a prime minister who is heading the government.
How would you set it up and would it work?

----------------------- Going perhaps slightly (ahem) off topic again:

AdmirerUS, your posts are always worth reading.
As someone who absolutely love alternative history, the idea of killing off the US President and Vice President is the topic of quite a few books and articles I've read and very fascinating, not to mention thought-provoking.

I stand corrected and change my statement to one quarter of the population loathing the current administration, one quarter are fully backing it up, one quarter has opted out, and one quarter (you among them? ) are okay-we-lost-but-let's-get-the-best-out-of-it-until-we-are-back-in-office-again.
However, (and that's what I find so worrying) it is undeniable that American politics has become increasingly polarized during the terms of the last few presidents. Now to the extent that many if not most moderates on both sides of the Congress dare not be moderates because they will simply be voted out of office at the next election.
And that surely is a problem, because how can you have long-term reforms if the opposition intends to reverse them after the next election, for fear of otherwise not being voted in?
That must create uncertainty for the American people. It sure does for your allies!
And isn't that the reason why people like Sanders and Trump, who originally started out as protest-candidates now have to be seriously considered as the next president or vice-president?

Right, and before anyone points the finger back at good old Europe. We sure have our problems as well! They are not the same problems as yours though, but we have them.
We are on the verge of EU imploding, or at best reverting into a kind of EEC. (Which might be the best thing anyway).
And because the political and media establishment has refused, not been unable but refused, to address the genuine concerns of ordinary people, (presumably because it goes against their idealized world-view) populist-parties are on the rise - big time!
So the possibility of the equivalent to brown-shirts marching the streets of Europe again within the next fifteen years has gone up from "a possibility" to "very probably".
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  #284  
Old 02-18-2016, 08:44 PM
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Personally, I don't think we could ever tolerate the appointed head of state. For all that so many of us don't vote, we are very proud of our cobbled together right to vote (once we got rid of the property ownership, black and female exclusions). We really do think we are better than the rest of the world. Bless our hearts. I hope you sense my irony here.

And there is progress. We are no longer waterboarding. LGBT rights are mostly a done deal - and I never thought I would live to see that. We are not actively in a big war. Our air and water quality continue to improve. At least for the moment, we have universal healthcare. We are trying to undo the damage done to our schools by "No child left behind" - and it's huge that we have finally admitted it did not work. We hate to admit we were wrong.
I take heart in increasing my investment in local and state politics. At least there I can find the like minded, bind together and have an impact. Locally, after about 40 years of placeholders that let the place go to heck, we have mayor that in the first term tangibly improved our city.
In his second term, he's let it go to his head a bit. I'm coming back to the topic, mods, I swear I am! He has made some recent decisions in a unilateral, unparticipative and not-transparent way. He looked a bit like a petulant Duke and the serfs are currently smacking him about. He will learn. And then he will either go and run for Senate or Governor. And we will get the next guy and try to bend him or her to our needs.
All politics are local, indeed.
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  #285  
Old 02-19-2016, 12:52 AM
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All I can honestly say that if it should come to pass where there would be a ceremonial and apolitical and possibly hereditary head of state in the US, no matter who it was, the opposition to him/her would be enormous excepting for those people that totally identified with said head of state. Males would resent a female. Northerners would resent a Southerner. Blue would resent Purple (meaning races). Old would resent young. You get the picture. There is no way that one person or family could theoretically represent all the citizens in the US and not have a major uprising.

Thinking about this makes me realize that we're pretty damned smart to just honor Old Glory as Americans. The red, white and blue. That is the one thing that represents all citizens of the United States of America.
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  #286  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:27 AM
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Thanks for your comments.

The reason why I proposed an appointed head of state was to avoid that person being elected and as such that a segment of voters had not voted for the new head of state.
XX is your head of state for the next six years, live with it or love it.

A head of state who is politically neutral, has never had a political career or office and who has earned his/her civilian position on merit.
Say one of the leading brain surgeons on the world. - That I'd say is a kind of American hero.
Or a world-renowned musician - that takes a tremendous amount of work as well as talent.
Or someone like Lindbergh, had he lived and accomplished what he did today. (Although he might have been politically naive).
Wouldn't the majority of Americans think that person would be a fine even admirable person to represent them all?
Especially people who would otherwise resent the sitting president had (s)he still been head of both the nation and the government - simply because they disagree politically.

I see a lot in your responses of what can't be done, I don't see many what can be done.
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  #287  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
A head of state who is politically neutral, has never had a political career or office and who has earned his/her civilian position on merit.
Say one of the leading brain surgeons on the world. - That I'd say is a kind of American hero.
We have one of those running for president right now. Dr. Ben Carson, running on the Republican ticket, is a retired neurosurgeon.

I see what you're getting at but going along with this idea I think would put the person that is the given Head of State for the next 6 years more of the status of celebrity and A-lister rather than being taken seriously as a head of state representing the American people. We've seen it quite often how even royals are sometimes portrayed too much as celebrities.

Another idea for possibly choosing this kind of head of state would be a grand lottery and drawing a name out of a hat. Starting locally, names would be drawn and sent to a county drawing. Winner of that drawing goes on to the state level which then goes to the main drawing from all 52 states. The then Head of State would be in the position purely by chance and the luck of the draw.
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  #288  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:28 AM
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Hope I'm not too annoying, but this fascinates me.

A celebrity head of state. - Why not? The person is used to the public attention and in handling the press. Say an architect who has designed and build a number of world-famous and remarkable buildings/whatever and have worked his/her way up.
Isn't that a person to admire? To inspire the children and young regardless of gender and race.

I could imagine the candidates being suggested by the public and/or by the state-governors and the suitable candidates chosen by a committee of governors with equal representatives from the Democrats and Republicans. - Keeping the Congress (officially at least) out of the process and if the person is suited and accepts, the new head of state will be sworn in by the Supreme Court.
No expensive election campaign. Just interesting portrayals in the media. And the rejected candidates can be suggested again next time.

A kind of America's Got Talent - on a higher level and without the public voting.

After all many if not most of your ambassadors are appointed without having particular political, let alone diplomatic experience. Yet, they are sometimes send to sensitive countries to represent USA.
If they can represent USA why not an author?

The system you described, Osipi, has been labelled the ultimate form of democracy and the person best suited as head of state should be someone who needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the office, but who once there, will do his very best.
And candidates who show a desire to be picked should automatically be disqualified.
Wonder if it would work? New Zealand and Switzerland have been suggested as the first countries to adopt that system and who knows, it might work in such a peaceful and prosperous lands?
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  #289  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:51 AM
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Now that I think more about it, we do have this sort of system here in the US where the people are selected at random to serve. Its called jury duty.
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  #290  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
Now that I think more about it, we do have this sort of system here in the US where the people are selected at random to serve. Its called jury duty.
With qualifications though...must be a registered voter and of a certain age etc...so that automatically excludes segments of population right there and in some states certain crimes bar you having the right to vote also so not on the juror list either.


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  #291  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
With qualifications though...must be a registered voter and of a certain age etc...so that automatically excludes segments of population right there and in some states certain crimes bar you having the right to vote also so not on the juror list either.
Very true. These qualifications would be exactly what would be needed as it weeds out those that aren't necessarily prime material for the job. For example, it would weed out my 3 year old great grandson who wouldn't have a clue what to do.
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“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
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  #292  
Old 02-19-2016, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
All I can honestly say that if it should come to pass where there would be a ceremonial and apolitical and possibly hereditary head of state in the US, no matter who it was, the opposition to him/her would be enormous excepting for those people that totally identified with said head of state. Males would resent a female. Northerners would resent a Southerner. Blue would resent Purple (meaning races). Old would resent young. You get the picture. There is no way that one person or family could theoretically represent all the citizens in the US and not have a major uprising.
I don't know about that. Take Canada for example. As we know, the Queen is the official Head of State (HoS), but, as I argued in another thread, the Governor General is, to most Canadians, a de facto appointed HoS for all practical intents and purposes.

Looking at the last two GGs, Michaëlle Jean was a French-speaking Haitian woman clearly on the liberal side of the political spectrum. David Johnston, on the other hand, is an English-speaking white male generally assumed to have conservative leanings. Both Jean and Johnston have profiles that may prove divisive and can in theory antagonize a certain section of the Canadian society. However, even though their tenures in office were not or have not been free of controversy, they were or have been generally able to perform the ceremonial representation duties of an acting HoS above partisan, linguistic or ethnic division lines. The point is that, even when the HoS is not an unanimous choice, the fact that he/she does not make government policy naturally diverts public opinion opposition to the actual policy makers, i.e. the PM and his/her cabinet, away from the HoS properly.
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  #293  
Old 02-19-2016, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
I don't know about that. Take Canada for example. As we know, the Queen is the official Head of State (HoS), but, asI argued in another thread, the Governor General is, to most Canadians, a de facto appointed HoS for all practical intents and purposes.

Looking at the last two GGs, Michaëlle Jean was a French-speaking Haitian woman clearly on the liberal side of the political spectrum. David Johnston, on the other hand, is an English-speaking white male generally assumed to have conservative leanings. Both Jean and Johnston have profiles that may prove divisive and can in theory antagonize a certain section of the Canadian society. However, even though their tenures in office were not or have not been free of controversy, they were or have been generally able to perform the ceremonial representation duties of the an acting HoS above partisan, linguistic or ethnic division lines. The point is that, even when the HoS is not an unanimous choice, the fact that he/she does not make government policy naturally diverts public opinion opposition to the actual policy makers, i.e. the PM and his/her cabinet, away from the HoS properly.
The difference in the scenarios though between Canada and a hypothetical big bang change in the United States is that in Canada, the method of HM, The Queen being Head of State with the GG as acting Head of State in most matters as you've pointed out. HM, the Queen (or King) and the Governor General of Canada have been the norm for the entire lifetimes of everyone on the planet.

For the United States, this would be a drastic and totally new way of how things are and we all know, us American can get quite vocal about the slightest things that affect our government. Case in point is looking at the three ring circus of infighting that will continue until the next president is elected in November of 2016.

This is a fun and thought provoking exercise in what *could* happen.
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  #294  
Old 02-19-2016, 01:30 PM
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The US political system is completely broken, and I find the endless election campaigns quite sickening. The United States needs a parliamentary system with a prime minister and an elected apolitical president who can unite the country, but this will probably never happen.

I prefer a constitutional monarchy with an apolitical monarch and a parliamentary system where the majority of the elected MP's/government has the power because it's a unifying symbol and in my eyes the best political system you can have in a country, but only in countries that already have a monarchy.

This has nothing to do with the above posters, just my view on the US political system.
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  #295  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:39 PM
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The US political system is broken...badly, but the "republic" system we have is the only one all Americans are accustomed to. To even suggest/consider a new system would have serious repercussions - not just the US but the entire world. One of the biggest reasons for the serious breakdown of our country is the fact we have immigrants, legal and illegal, trying to change it into their home country. Why leave your home country, come here and then demand handouts and expect me to learn another language, such as Spanish for instance? Other countries need to take care of their own citizens - I cannot work to feed the entire world or give them free medical care.
With that said, I do not want my tax dollars spent for a ceremonial head of state. Serious waste of money - and then to pay a few other members of the HOS's family...really????? The US needs fixing but a new form of government is not the answer. Even if we did de decide to change it, a constitutional monarchy is not a good idea. 💣👑💣
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  #296  
Old 02-20-2016, 09:45 AM
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Unlike the above opinions, I do not think that the US political system should undergo any changes. The system in question seems to be accepted by the majority.

On a different note, the discussion is entertaining
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  #297  
Old 02-20-2016, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by NotHRH View Post
The US political system is broken...badly, but the "republic" system we have is the only one all Americans are accustomed to. To even suggest/consider a new system would have serious repercussions - not just the US but the entire world. One of the biggest reasons for the serious breakdown of our country is the fact we have immigrants, legal and illegal, trying to change it into their home country. Why leave your home country, come here and then demand handouts and expect me to learn another language, such as Spanish for instance? Other countries need to take care of their own citizens - I cannot work to feed the entire world or give them free medical care.
I am not aware of anyone who is forcing you or anybody else for that matter to learn Spanish in the US, so I don't know what you are talking about. Furthermore, I wonder if you realize that immigrants also go to work, pay taxes and, on the aggregate, receive far less welfare benefits than natural born citizens of the United States. Finally, many of the people who now speak against immigration in the US (including Donald Trump) are themselves children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or great-great-grandchildren of immigrants, which is utterly hypocritical.


Quote:
With that said, I do not want my tax dollars spent for a ceremonial head of state. Serious waste of money - and then to pay a few other members of the HOS's family...really????? The US needs fixing but a new form of government is not the answer. Even if we did de decide to change it, a constitutional monarchy is not a good idea. 💣👑💣
I bet the prime minister of Canada and the Governor General combined cost less to taxpayers than the president of the United States. In fact, the US would probably have a much leaner and frugal government if it were a Commonwealth realm like Canada . Besides, in many monarchies like the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain, only the King, the Queen Consort and the heir to the throne when applicable normally get direct public funding. Belgium, the UK and, I suppose, Denmark also fund members of the extended royal family, but that is because they are barred from holding any other job and are required to be full-time public servants. It is just fair then that they should receive public funds as compensation.
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  #298  
Old 02-20-2016, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by NotHRH View Post
The US political system is broken...badly, but the "republic" system we have is the only one all Americans are accustomed to. To even suggest/consider a new system would have serious repercussions - not just the US but the entire world. One of the biggest reasons for the serious breakdown of our country is the fact we have immigrants, legal and illegal, trying to change it into their home country. Why leave your home country, come here and then demand handouts and expect me to learn another language, such as Spanish for instance? Other countries need to take care of their own citizens - I cannot work to feed the entire world or give them free medical care.
With that said, I do not want my tax dollars spent for a ceremonial head of state. Serious waste of money - and then to pay a few other members of the HOS's family...really????? The US needs fixing but a new form of government is not the answer. Even if we did de decide to change it, a constitutional monarchy is not a good idea. ������
Thank you, NotHRH.

Your answer is very telling and I believe it applies to most Americans.
The feelings you express are very similar to the feelings people who live in a monarchy and who believe in a monarchy feel, when someone from outside say that the monarchy is an anachronism, undemocratic and so on and so on.

Okay, if we can't have a monarchy in USA, how would the ideal monarchy look like, from especially an American view? Because we who live in a monarchy are historically, nationally and culturally biased. You don't live in a monarchy so you can look at it with fresh eyes.

So let's change the thought-experiment:
You have a new country, similar to USA but a lot smaller, I.e. a native minority and the majority constituting of descendants of immigrants with different cultural, religious and racial background, but agreeing on getting this new nation to work.
Say 25 million people. A country the size of the west coast of USA to the Rockies. With an economy and living standard equivalent to say Australia. Culturally it otherwise resembles USA.
Beforehand you were ruled by a world government, with a governor ruling you directly. A kind of benign dictatorial rule. Not that different from the situation in 1776. Now the whole things has collapsed and the world is fragmenting into nations about your size.
You are charged with outlining the in your eyes ideal monarchy. How should it work?
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  #299  
Old 02-20-2016, 01:30 PM
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Even if the Presidential system were manifestly broken beyond possibility of redemption the American people would not relinquish it..
They are far too emotionally invested in the idea of it. The French are the same.. they worship their 'republican virtues' regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
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  #300  
Old 02-20-2016, 03:44 PM
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Please note that several posts have been deleted as off topic.

There are several places where you can go to discuss the current President, the future President and immigration to your heart's content.

This isn't the place to do it.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss the monarchy and the United States. Is it possible to change our form of government, how would you implement such a change, would most Americans go for it, etc.

Any and all additional off topic posts will be deleted without notice.
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