Compare your past opinions and sentiments with the present proposed establishment, and you will find, that if you adopt it, that it will lead you into a system which you heretofore reprobated odious. Every American whig, not long since, bore his emphatic testimony against a monarchical government, though limited, because of the dangerous inequality that it created among citizens as relative to their rights and property; and wherein does this president, invested with his powers and prerogatives, essentially differ from the king of Great-Britain (save as to name, the creation of nobility and some immaterial incidents, the offspring of absurdity and locality) the direct prerogatives of the president, as springing from his political character, are among the following:—
It is necessary, in order to distinguish him from the rest of the community, and enable him to keep, and maintain his court, that the compensation for his services; or in other words, his revenue should be such as to enable him to appear with the splendor of a prince;11
he has the power of receiving embassadors from, and a great influence on their appointments to foreign courts;12
as also to make treaties, leagues, and alliances with foreign states, assisted by the senate, which when made, become the supreme law of the land:13
he is a constituent part of the legislative power; for every bill which shall pass the house representatives and senate, is to be presented to him for approbation; if he approves of it, he is to sign it,14
if he disapproves, he is to return it with objections, which in many cases will amount to a compleat negative;15
and in this view he will have a great share in the power of making peace, coining money, &c. and all the various objects legislation, expressed or implied in this Constitution: for though it may be asserted that the king of Great-Britain has the express power of making peace or war, yet he never thinks it prudent so to do without the advice of his parliament from whom he is to derive his support, and therefore these powers, in both president and king, are substantially the same: he is the generalissimo of the nation, and of course, has the command &controul of the army, navy and militia; he is the general conservator of the peace of the union-he may pardon all offences, except in cases of impeachment, and the principal fountain of all offices & employments. Will not the exercise of these powers therefore tend either to the establishment of a vile and arbitrary aristocracy, or monarchy? The safety of the people in a republic depends on the share or proportion they have in the government; but experience ought to teach you, that when a man is at the head of an elective government invested with great powers, and interested in his re election, in what circle appointments will be made; by which means an imperfect aristocracy bordering on monarchy may be established.