Doc wrote: ↑
Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:06 am
Most US presidents are more interested in Foreign policy than Domestic policy.
I have long made the same observation myself Doc.
I had often wondered why. Having since become better acquainted with the inner workings of government in the USA (a little
better - it is quite a complex animal and hard to understand) I have drawn the following conclusion:
US presidents are inclined to focus more on foreign policy than on domestic policy because they are allowed a freer hand in it and are therefore better able to make their mark by focusing on this policy area.
When a US administration enters the arena of domestic policy it always runs the risk of arousing forces ranged against it. This included the matter of states' rights; the Houses of Congress; your Supreme Court (often stacked by the preceeding administration
); the mass media and of course the wealthy and powerful corporate interests that are always prone to manipulate these others powers in the land against the executive wing of government. A real minefield!
(I do not wish to make fracking the diversionary topic of this discussion: but I was appalled back in the obama years when Obama made the quixotic, symbolic move to ban fracking on federally owned land: while leaving the frackers to enjoy a free run of private land along with land owned by state governments. It was not the actual ban that appalled me but the fact that Obama was only able to impose it on federally owned land. Obviously, considering the amount of federally owned land compared with the amount of landed property under private and state ownership the fracking ban would have been meaningless unless it had constrained fracking on these too. There must have been some law, possibly a constitutional one, that stayed Obama's hand.
Now, multiply that by all of the other policy areas that US Federal administrations could potentially move into and you will get some idea of how much the US misses out on in the realm of improved government.
It would mean that US presidents, ever since the time of George Washington, often very likely might have come up with bright policy ideas which, had these ever been implemented would have been of benefit to the entire country: but of course these ideas, even if debated, never saw the light of day as law.
By contrast in foreign affairs matters the hands of any incumbent administration seems to be far more unconstrained. Indeed, my oft repeated complaint has been that your system of government does not hold incumbent US presidents sufficiently to account in this policy area.
In summary: US administrations are too constrained in domestic policy initiaves while conversely being too unrestrained in foreign policy moves. A very lopsided set of powers that I imagine would invite unbalanced, dysfunctional government.