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Presidents who would be king

October 16, 2008

Re "How powerful a president?" Opinion, Oct. 11

Better words for a "unitary executive" are "autocratic," "dictatorial" or "imperial."

Human experience shows that power, perhaps by its very nature, is seldom if ever voluntarily given up. Neither a President Obama nor a President McCain is likely to relinquish it. The imperial power of the presidency has to be taken away -- and only the American people can do it.

Ricardo Nicol

San Clemente

In Dana Nelson's otherwise informative commentary on the unitary executive question, he labeled those who believe in an all-powerful executive branch as "Unitarians."

This label is already taken. The Unitarians have been congregating for hundreds of years, as a church that questioned the Holy Trinity. In 1961, they merged with the Universalists to create the Unitarian Universalist Assn. of Congregations. An important part of their guiding principles is a firm adherence to the democratic process in church decisions.

I would ask Nelson to choose another label for those who believe that the president should be above the checks and balances that are critical to our nation and an essential part of our Constitution.

Kathi Yu

Silver Spring, Md.

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