House and senate prove more effective

Katherine Mote

My favorite cookies in the entire world are from JD’s Chippery. This place holds so much significance to my childhood because I went there often as a kid, and it brings back so many good memories. Whenever I take my friends there after explaining how good the cookies are and how much I love them, their response to trying them is always subpar. The cookies are good, but definitely overrated in their terms because to them it doesn’t represent the significance it does to me. While it’s easy to overrate something as minuscule as a cookie, when considering larger forces it becomes more complex to criticize. The President of the United States and positions of the same caliber in similar countries might be one of the most overstated ideals because of their large figurehead, the ability to be vetoed and the insane amount of press in preparation for the election, all for a position that can still be overruled and challenged by several smaller branches.

As Americans, we put pressure on the presidential image because of its representation of our country. However, as far as policy and action, the majority of it comes from our House Representatives and Senate. While the president might be biased against some issues, the majority in our House and Senate must approve of it to create law. More often than not, voters neglect council and congressional elections and prioritize federal elections because of the press and attention it receives. Remembering that every four years the second Tuesday of  November is the presidential election day is easy, but how many Americans know that property taxes and local mandates are extensions of government that are elected on a random day in May? Whether we like it or not, our governor, city councilmen and women and other local representatives have immense power in day-to-day life as we have seen this year with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was elected by the people, but the election wasn’t very public, and it became an easy position to win. However, with current masking mandates and other health-related laws coming into place from our governor, we see just how much power Jenkins has. This proves again that the president holds power; however, the minuscule things that affect our day-to-day life are still largely ruled by smaller offices, making the presidential position overrated.

When considering relationships with other countries, we visualize a picture of presidents or leaders shaking hands. While these relationships are crucial, how often do we see our secretaries of state or foreign secretaries discussing trade relations and tariffs? These relationships impact most businesses in America but are not publicized. In fact, some incredibly powerful leaders similar to the position of President including former chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel are praised and revered as she filled her position. However, 15 years later the excitement of her fighting for women’s rights and freedoms has been severely overrated because of her lack of action and progress in that sector. In America, we went through similar legislation for women’s rights but on a smaller scale, not involving the president but the Supreme Court with Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court sets a precedent and while the members are appointed upon by the presidents, it becomes an array of people given the longevity of the role and court rulings barely, if at all, sway with one vote. Our system of government was created for an equal balance of power so that we will remain a democracy, and that same logic should counteract the people’s view of public policy and American priorities of different positions.

The cookies at JD’s were great when I was younger but, as I grew up, I realized that it wasn’t the cookies I was so much in love with. What I loved was  the place that brought me so much happiness as a kid. Conversely, I remember being in third grade and casting my ballot for the presidential mock election thinking that this decision was one of the most important ones I would make. Regardless of the fact I was in third grade, and the vote didn’t actually count, I have since realized that yes, the presidency is important, but in order for a president to reflect our views we have to also elect the smaller positions to represent our neighborhoods and communities. I hold a lot of respect for the president‘s position as the face of the nation and the tone he sets for the next four years, but I think it’s important to not put them on a podium and realize that he makes mistakes just as much as the next person. Although his are put on blast for the entire world to see.

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