University of Chicago Professor Claims “Power Hungry Presidents are Good for Democracy”

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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In other news, the guy who fetches Putin his morning coffee claims that killing dissidents really helps the economy and China’s leading university claims that breathing in toxic fumes while assembling iPads is good for children.

Why power-hungry presidents are good for democracy

U. CHICAGO (US) — In order to understand the behavior of US presidents, it is necessary to recognize that a president’s core interest is in acquiring power—and holding on to it—a new book argues.

This single, simple insight about the president and power goes a long way to explaining presidential behavior,” says William G. Howell, professor in American politics at the University of Chicago.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Chicago Way, PhD.

“He represents the country as a whole. This is part and parcel of a president’s need to obtain power and to exert control. He needs to dominate his branch of government and the whole institution.”

Lenin would like his quote to be properly attributed.

Today’s popular notion that presidents should exercise more self-restraint and limit their executive authority is misguided, he says.

Unless their first name is George.

Still, beyond the Constitutional limits on presidential power are other restrictions, such as cultural misgivings. Built into the American psyche, largely as a result of the dislike of the absolute power held by the British monarchy they left behind, is a condemnation of presidential candidates who betray too much interest in holding the office.

Those paranoid right-wing extremists who can’t see that having your country run by power-hungry madmen is a good thing.

  • T100C1970

    The good Prof. is absolutely correct. A strong executive definitely facilitates DEMOCRACY. Hitler, Hugo Chavez and Morsi were democratically elected, the first two more than once. If Chavez were still alive he would have been elected again.

    The problem is that “Democracy” is by definition the tyranny of the majority.. be it Aryans vs Jews, Whites vs Blacks (in the old south), Blacks vs Whites in modern Africa, poor vs not poor in Venezuela and the USA.

    The only system that protects EVERYBODY is a Constitutional Republic like we used to have… THINKERS from enlightened societies from the ancient Greeks and Romans to our own founders easily perceived the threats of the tyranny of the majority. Obviously the Prof can’t be included in the “thinker” class.

    • UCSPanther

      It is very important in Republican-style democracy that there are checks and balances, with the biggest being that the leaders are beholden to the laws of the land like everyone else.

      That is the concept that the Magna Carta introduced, and without it, you would have mob rule at best and all out tyranny at worst, and no amount of democracy would change that. That is one of the biggest reasons why democracy has failed in the Middle East…

  • patron

    What ignorant big government liberals must believe:

    High quality capital exists in the forms of digging a hole and filling it up again, repaving the same bridge every year until it collapses, and trillions of tax payer dollars a year paid out in incentives for broken homes and drug addiction.

    Devaluing US currency by printing over a trillion dollars of year surely won’t lead to disasters when the world finds a new reserve currency for international business and lenders demand higher interest rights from central banks as they see the dollar become worth less than the paper it’s printed on.

    In the years of $4 trillion dollar yearly Federal budgets and SWAT raids on milk farmers and guitar manufacturers, the last thing we need is an experienced manager like George HW Bush or an economic libertarin like Calvin Coolidge. We need a selfish tyrant ignorant of human rights like Robert Mugabe or King Leopold of Prussia.

  • herb benty

    Anyone who doubts that “commie professors” are indoctrinating the youngsters and urging tyranny, should lay those doubts down.

  • Christopher Riddle

    Democracy “The Chicago Way”???????????????????

    • Kevin O’Kelley

      Soon to be replaced by the return of the Arkansas Mafia.

  • Kevin O’Kelley

    Headline: “Chicago Law professor advocates gangster government.”
    In other news: “Dog bites man.”

    Sad that law professors from Chicago should have so little understanding and respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

    H.L.Mencken: “The aims of all governments, whatever their names or forms, are precisely the same, at all times and everywhere. The first and foremost of them is simply to maintain the men constituting the government in their positions of power, that they may live gloriously at the expense of the people they govern, and enjoy all the honors and usufructs that go therewith. There may be other purposes in them from time to time, but those purposes are transient, and most of them are insincere…The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse – that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it.”