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Is The Presidency Getting Too Attractive?

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If we can reduce the power of the presidency to constitutional levels, it may not be worth the effort for the power-hungry, the social climbers, and the money-grubbers.

By Shawnna Morris       @fee.org

Imagine you are applying for a new job. The selection process is viciously competitive and will last for two years. During that time you will endure a relentless travel schedule, hostile interviews, invasive background checks, public humiliation, personal insults, and anonymous death threats. Why would you put yourself through this?

Because the job is president of the United States, and the payoff is huge.

Sure, some people run for president because they feel called to make the country a better place, but not everyone’s motives are noble.

“Race to the Bottom”

Despite the physical rigors and personal indignity, more people than ever are willing to throw their hats into the ring. In August 2015, Republicans opened their primary debate season with a record-shattering 17 candidates. On June 26 of this year, Democrats began their debate season with 24 candidates.

More choices should be better for the voters.

Surprisingly, though, the wide range of options has not yielded the best or brightest. The 2016 contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was sometimes described as a “race to the bottom.

And as for this year’s Democrat primary contenders? There are no apparent shining stars—just a lot of pandering, identity politics, and plans for bigger government.

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