W Fudsd i Mid
“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office he shall take the following Oath orAffirmation: ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability preserve, protect, anddefend the Constitution of the United States.’”
—U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 8
he Founding Fathers would be appalled by the modern presidency.Of all the things that would horrify them about the scope and reachof government today, the one that might alarm them most is thecharacter of the modern office of president. The scale of the presidentialoffice and the conduct of modern presidents are very different from whatthe Founders envisioned. In fact, the modern presidency is the exact
of what the Founders intended. The behavior of most modern presi-dents—personally ambitious politicians (or demagogues, in the Founders’eighteenth-century vocabulary) making populist appeals, offering lavishpromises, often impossible to fulfill, of what they will do for the people—isprecisely what the Founders wanted to avoid when they created the institu-tion. The modern presidency has become one of the chief ingredients in therecipe for endlessly expanding the government beyond the limits theFounders laid out for it in the Constitution.