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  #281  
Old 02-17-2016, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CSENYC View Post
Lady Nimue, to help make you feel better:[...] So I hope that you can rest assured that the world isn't falling apart.

This isn't the place to debate immigration or the like, but I just wanted to give you some reassurance about your concerns.
Very funny, CSENYC. Many thanks for the solicitude.

As stated, not the place to be debating any of this. Please look further than the sources quoted. (Wikipedia is always a questionable source except for the most straight forward stuff, and even then one must be cautious). Just look around: https://www.nationalpriorities.org/c...united-states/

P.S. Be aware that pre-Civil War the slave population grew substantially. Those statistics are murky but getting better. Add the Irish immigration, pretty substantial, not to mention the explosion of population into the far west territories, even prior to the Gold Rush. Louisiana Purchase 'captured' new population, too. It's all been about people, and more and more of them. The Mormons pulled in a lot of Europeans to Utah (a territory, but still counts imo). Etc. I am not an authority on all this but as someone long interested in history I can vouch for the profound impact population movement/growth has had on the US.
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  #282  
Old 02-18-2016, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Yes, but the idea behind this thought experiment is that it has happened.
For whatever reason you've ended up in a situation where the people have demanded a completely new system and now you have a hereditary head of state.

The thought experiment is no different from changing a monarchy to a republic, it requires a major political and public change and constitutional changes as well, but it is still possible.
Don'think your thought experiment is landing, seems one step to far

what i don't get though, if a thought like this unthinkable because we keep skipping back to the constitution, why have this thread in the first place
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  #283  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
The idea of an American monarchy intrigues me!

How about a thought experiment?There has been a referendum and the Americans have decided to have a hereditary head of state. The family has been selected, a person from that family who is seen as the most suited to represent the Americans has been selected and the heir has been okayed.
What used to the the office of the president will now be re-titled prime minister. I.e. the political executive who can now focus full time on politics.

Now, you have been charged with outlying this new monarchy and you have completely free hands.

So:

What will be the title of your new head of state?
How should the head of state be addressed?
Your head of state will have four more or less grand residences, where should they be located? I.e. main residence, secondary residence, alternative but smaller residence (the heir's official residence?) and a holiday retreat (akin to Camp David).
How about the succession? Will that always be the firstborn? Should the heir be approved by the Congress and if rejected, the next in line selected?
How many in the "monarch's" family should receive money from the state?
What will be the political or ceremonial role of the head of state be in regards to the Constitution? If any?
What languages is the new head of state expected to speak?
Is the head of state expected to adhere to a specific religion?
Which annual American events would you suggest the head of state to lead? Ceremonial or otherwise.
What do you see as the primary role of the "first-spouse"? I.e. what should (s)he focus primarily on?
Should the new head of state have an annual address, say on Constitution Day?

And so on and so on.

This is your chance to create an ideal monarchy.
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?
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  #284  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:52 AM
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Seems so, Lee-Z.

Well, IMO if the US Constitution is so rigid that major changes are almost impossible to make, then USA will have very serious problems at some point!
I mean if you can't vote your way to major changes, what options do you have?

Okay, let me rephrase my questions then.

Since the Constitution makes it impossible to have a hereditary head of state, is it possible to have an appointed (not elected) head of state?
That is, a more ceremonial, politically neutral, head of state, who is USA personified and who represent all Americans across the political divide. And who sits for a period of say six years.
A hero for example. An astronaut who has been on the Moon, or general Schwarzkopf or a Nobel Price-winner of physics springs to mind.
A head of state, who can represent USA PR-wise and also on state visits to Farawayland, so that the prime minister can concentrate on the politics and running the country. With some 300 million people the PM is hardly likely to be bored.

Okay, are you ready for some criticism?

As I see it the major problem in USA these past decades has been that a third of the population loathe the sitting administration, while a third support it wholeheartedly and the rest have given up and opted out. There are hardly any serious attempts to work across the political divide anymore. Those who try get voted out by the wings of their parties.
So there are few if any long-term reforms made, because they are likely to be rolled back by the next administration. And with a Congress that controls the budget and who appears to be more interested in annoying the sitting administration rather than to work on what is good for the country, even less is done.
IMO you need one (actually three) more parties. A center party, which will force the Democrats and Republicans towards the center.
On top of that you have a Supreme Court with politically appointed judges who wield way too much power and who sit forever. Who controls the guardians?

I can assure you it's damned worrying sitting on the outside and seeing that the only current super-power is becoming increasingly politically rigid!
Not least knowing that it may very likely change course politically 180 degrees every four or eight years.

And that's why I thought that the idea of the Americans at some point wanting to completely changing the system is not that far out. - A second American revolution if you will. (Third revolution if you count the Civil War.)

Thanks for your thoughts, NotHRH.
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  #285  
Old 02-18-2016, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Very funny, CSENYC. Many thanks for the solicitude.

As stated, not the place to be debating any of this. Please look further than the sources quoted. (Wikipedia is always a questionable source except for the most straight forward stuff, and even then one must be cautious). Just look around: https://www.nationalpriorities.org/c...united-states/

P.S. Be aware that pre-Civil War the slave population grew substantially. Those statistics are murky but getting better. Add the Irish immigration, pretty substantial, not to mention the explosion of population into the far west territories, even prior to the Gold Rush. Louisiana Purchase 'captured' new population, too. It's all been about people, and more and more of them. The Mormons pulled in a lot of Europeans to Utah (a territory, but still counts imo). Etc. I am not an authority on all this but as someone long interested in history I can vouch for the profound impact population movement/growth has had on the US.
Unfortunately you have your facts completely confused--just read both sources.

Military spending is not 60% of the United States' entire budget. Based on the chart that you provided, the military spending that you refer to is 54% of the "discretionary spending" portion of the United States' budget. The "discretionary spending" portion is a minority of the total budget. So you're flat wrong.

And you question Wikipedia (which has been found to have fewer errors than things such as Encyclopedia Britannica, since so many people are quick to correct mistakes), but you rely on National Priorities, an overtly partisan website?

And for immigration: population growth has impacted the US? Of course it has! The US has had periods of very high immigration and periods of very low/severely restricted immigration. If you don't believe the population records in the sources that I provided, then do your own research, such as the US Census Bureau website, which confirms that immigration levels have varied considerably throughout history, with almost no immigration throughout large periods of our history.

You need to get off your soapbox and get back on topic, please. We agree that this is not an appropriate topic to debate, so stop trying to pick a fight.
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  #286  
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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  #287  
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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  #288  
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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  #289  
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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  #290  
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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  #291  
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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  #292  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:00 AM
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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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  #293  
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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  #294  
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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  #295  
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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  #296  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:27 AM
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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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  #297  
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, MichaŽlle 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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  #298  
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, MichaŽlle 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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  #299  
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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  #300  
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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