Dual Executive/President


The idea of an elective head of state for the American chief executive,
in its conception, was virtually without precedent. The idea of an American dual
presidency, split between domestic and foreign arenas is itself without
precedent. A dual presidency would suit America well due to the pressures of
the office of President of the United States. As Commander-in-Chief, the
President bears incredible pressures and responsibilities. The President not
only has power in the United States, but also tremendous influence throughout
the world. It is not arrogant to change the presidency in order to manage
America's vast interests all over the globe. The US is certainly not
isolationistic anymore, so creating an office for a foreign affairs executive is
simply realistic. Thus, the President is not only torn between domestic and
foreign responsibilities, but s/he must find time to campaign. A dual presidency
with a domestic and foreign leader could divide these campaigning duties. In
addition, a dual presidency is better adapted to handle simultaneous crises. A
dual presidency is a modern day answer to the realities of the American
presidency.
Essentially, the idea of a dual executive is rooted in the concept of a
plural executive. Back in the time of the writing of the Constitution, some
anti-federalists wanted a weak executive. This weak executive was called a
plural executive or an executive council. (Storing 49) The purpose of such a
plural executive was not only to weaken the executive, but also to prevent a
monarchy from ruling. In fact, an anti-federalist named Randolph opposed an
executive-of-one so much that he believed it to be the “foetus (fetus) of the
monarchy.”(Storing 93) Yet today the threat of monarchy is laughable.
The proposed dual executive has no intentions of weakening that branch.
Rather, a dual executive makes the branch more efficient, focused, and in touch.
`Plural' is not a fitting term for the dual executive. This is because a
plural executive implies several office holders, or a committee. The more people,
the more chaos and disunity occurs.
In the 70th chapter of The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton made a
case for an executive with a great deal of unity. If power was concentrated in a
single chief magistrate, then the branch would be more cohesive. Hamilton
relied on the failures of plural executive in the history of Rome and Greece to
make a case against executive councils.
Some may argue that by dividing the executive office, it saps the energy
and vigor required of the job. Inversely, it can be argued that the President
has so much to do that his energy is weakened by simply being spread too thin.
The latter is true since America is such an incredible world power. When
Hamilton was writing against a plural executive, he never could have predicted
America's role in the world.
An example of what this dual executive is not, is Uruguay's multi-member
presidency. From 1918 to 1933 the directly elected nine-member National Council
of Administration shared executive power with the President. The Council took
care of domestic affairs. Note that there is a divide between domestic and
foreign duties.
Such a presidency was intended to be more representative, but simply
made the government more fragmented. Within time, Uruguay's multi-member
presidency fell to a dictator because it was an ineffectual entity. There were
simply too many members. That is why this dual presidency is composed of only
two members of the same party who would run together, and rule together.
The proposed dual presidency is quite united. The job of the President
has expanded, and so should the office. A dual presidency should be thought of
as an extension of the single presidency.
These two leaders would run together in elections under the same party.
Both would have the same four year terms, with two term limits. The idea is that
the presidency is still one entity. It is the same job as a single executive,
but the responsibility is thinned out. Each bill, treaty, or appointment would
be approved by both Presidents. Some bills, treaties, and appointments could
affect both Presidents, which is why dual approval is necessary. Such
precautions must be taken to maintain unity in the executive branch.
Both the domestic and the executive President would choose a vice-
president. Essentially four people would end up running under one party. Other
than that, the presidential election process would remain the same.
Meanwhile, the impeachment process should apply only to the individual
offender. One President cannot help it if the other committed an impeachable
offense. The other should not be punished for it. The vice-president for the
person who was impeached