During this presidential campaign, many candidates have made hefty promises, such as Republican candidate Donald Trump’s proclamation to abolish nonprofit organization Planned Parenthood or Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ guarantee to offer free tuition to two-year institutions. Several candidates have committed to abolishing Obamacare as well. However, the process for overthrowing legislation is more complicated than the candidates discuss.
“[The President has] to work with Congress to accomplish any significant domestic policy goals,” Professor of Political Science James Davenport said. “The Presidency is an office of constrained power.”
Presidential candidates set their platforms with not-so-feasible promises that are used to increase their voters, therefore increase their chances of being elected. After being elected, seldom do the promises made on the campaign trail make it past Congress and become obtainable legislation. When these promises are not met, citizens become irritated with the government and skeptical of the president.
Additionally, Congress is the only one with the ability to write laws. With Congress having their own body of voters they are accountable to, it becomes almost impossible to align views of so many different parties to achieve most of the president’s goals.
According to The Hill, the candidate’s campaigning promises will have far less to do with how they will govern or if the people will agree with the changes the candidate makes on policies. These campaign promises are ultimately misleading to the public.
“Voters expect candidates at all levels, especially candidates for president, to make big promises. Then when they don’t deliver, we become cynical. However, if they don’t make these promises, voters aren’t motivated to vote for them,” Davenport said.
With the additional endeavor of finding ways to get politicians elected by different groups who have different priorities, as well as members of different political parties, Davenport says it is sometimes shocking that anything gets accomplished at all.
“Unfortunately, it is the dance we have created between voters and candidates.”