Milwaukee Veterans Respond: How Much Power Should An American President Have?

Apr 25, 2017

President Trump took office nearly 100 days ago. During the campaign, he vowed to Make American Great Again. He promised to immediately protect American workers, make the country more secure and work with Congress to improve health care, the tax system and the country’s infrastructure. 

Trump, like some predecessor, stormed into office with what he believed was a voter mandate, then ran into the realities of Washington and global forces. As day 100 of his tenure approaches, NPR stations nationwide are asking people: How much power should any American President have? We posed that question to veterans hanging out at Dry Hootch on Milwaukee’s west side.

William Johnson, 33, Operation Iraqi Freedom

“I have a few concerns like control over people’s personal life. As long as it’s not illegal, I have some concerns there when the government or the president has power to dictate how you live your life…maybe like how people choose their sexuality or have the power to dictate what group deserves better treatment than another group.”

Kathleen Neumann, Vietnam Era

“What’s going right now. He made one decision about sending the missile over (in Syria), which has caused repercussions down the line. Whether it be they just had a bombing in Paris, just different things that have happened. Korea, they have all these missiles and I think it’s a power play. It’s a test and I wonder how far he’s going to go and how far they’re going to go. So in all actuality, it scares me.”

Richard Hoefert, 63, Vietnam Era

“He should have the sense to know that he can’t have all the power.”