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Feb 14 2016

An Imperial Presidency

Our elected leaders often act more like emperors than servants of the nation which elected them. A benevolent dictator can be an efficient or even good leader of a nation. But our system of government, is specifically designed to prevent power from becoming concentrated, because when that happens, it always leads to the abuse of power that we call tyranny. Even when that rare benevolent individual or ruling group ascends to power, there is no guarantee that the people who eventually replace them will be cut from the same cloth. In fact, history shows that power attracts people with spurious ethics, creating an inevitable decline into tyranny.

A head of state position is often the best way to execute administrative responsibilities. The founders of the United States acknowledged this, but were adamant about limiting the power vested in the executive position with a framework of checks and balances and careful distribution of power. When a U.S. President makes efforts to circumvent the checks and balances of power, the Constitutional design is being circumvented, and the President is exceeding his authority and violating his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.

In our system, the people are sovereign, not the leaders. To protect that order, our Presidents need to refrain from taking any action they feel is “the right thing to do”, when it exceeds the limits placed upon them by our Constitution and instead, put a higher priority on enforcing the basic purpose of the Constitution, which is to preserve individual liberty.