The Presidency 4

6.          The framer’s fear of incapacity was balanced by their fear of tyranny.  Some of the framers worried that a weak executive office would make the national government too slow or too weak to respond to threats and emergencies.  Alexander Hamilton started out arguing for capacity: he wanted an executive presiding over a strong central government, with absolute veto power, and with unlimited time in office, subject only to good behavior.  Ultimately, the framers had two tough problems. One problem was how to avoid the tyranny of faction. The other problem was how to balance the fear of tyranny against the fear of incapacity.
Image: James Madison, by John Vanderlyn.

We are offering one paragraph per day from our short course on the presidency. You can see other posts or get the full course, for free, by clicking below.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top