ALEXANDRIA, VA — From the beginning of recorded history to the present time, very few societies have lived in freedom. The Founding Fathers understood very well that freedom was not man’s natural state. Their entire political philosophy was based on a fear of government power and the need to limit and control that power very strictly.
That government should be clearly limited and that power is a corrupting force was the essential perception held by the men who wrote the Constitution. They limited government power and divided it between three branches (the legislative, executive, and judicial) so that one branch could serve as a check on the others.
In The Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote: “It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
In recent years, under both Republicans and Democrats, the power of the president, the so-called “Imperial Presidency,” has dramatically expanded. The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. Yet, we have gone to war repeatedly since World War II without a declaration of war, most recently when George W. Bush invaded Iraq to remove alleged “weapons of mass destruction” that did not exist.
Under President Obama, declares Jonathan Turley, professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, “This trend…has accelerated. Obama has succeeded to a degree that would have made Richard Nixon blush. Indeed, Obama may be the president Nixon always wanted to be. … His unilateral actions are redrawing the lines of separation in our system in a way that I believe could prove destabilizing and even dangerous in the future.”
When it comes to war, Turley notes that Nixon’s impeachment included the charge that he evaded Congress’ sole authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. Obama “went even further in the Libyan war, declaring that he alone defines what is a ‘war’ for the purposes of triggering the Constitutional provisions on declarations of Congress. That position effectively converts the entire provision in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (‘Congress shall have power to…declare War’) into a discretionary power of the president.”
With regard to immigration, health care, welfare, education, and drug policy, the president has suspended, waived, and rewritten laws, including the Affordable Care Act. That law required the employer mandate to begin this year. But the administration wrote a new law, giving to companies of a certain size a delay until 2016 and stipulating that other employers must certify that they will not drop employees to avoid the mandate. Doing so would initiate criminal perjury charges. In this case, the president, by executive action, created a new crime.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom