Roosevelt promises to use “broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” What are the dangers in employing the analogy of war where presidential power is concerned?
The primary danger, I’d argue, comes in the form of drastically expanded executive powers. Wars of any kind usually come with an expansion of central power, which is needed to effectively and resolutely fight. However, when a non-war situation is described as war and used as an excuse to increase the amount of power held by the executive, the resulting increase in power is often misused or only used to benefit a few people.
An example can be seen in modern North Korea where the government’s propaganda puts forth the view that it is constantly at war with the Americans and their allies. As such, they use this excuse to justify tons of spending on the military while food and basic necessities remain scarce. As such, those in the military benefit while the common people do not.