Presidential authority and how democracy can die

Presidential authority and how democracy can die

During the Obama presidency, there were many that were angered by the number of executive orders he issued to work around the gridlocked of Congress.  One notable one was not enforcing deportation laws. Today, many on the other side of the political spectrum are angry at the executive orders that Trump are issuing. Here in Oregon, there is currently a lawsuit against the Trump administration for pulling funding for ‘sanctuary’ cities.

Executive orders are a strange beast. They can be easily passed by the president (without the approval of Congress) but have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself. Recent presidents have issued in the 100-300 range, which is nowhere near the 1000’s that were passed by some previous presidents (usually during war/Great Depression).

But they set a bad precedent – not for Republicans vs Democrats – but for citizens. Instead of forcing our politicians to follow the rule of law, we seemingly let them violate the checks and balances in our government to ‘get what we want’. It’s important not to let our politicians break the rule of law. The rule of law protects CITIZENS from POLITICIANS. It makes our politicians do their jobs – which is to make, pass, enforce, and abide by the rules of law. When we give them a free pass to violate the very laws/checks and balances, then we as citizens lose the ability to control our own government. We only hurt ourselves. Just like giving a kid scissors to run around the house just to shut them up, we will end up paying a much worse price later for short-term gains.

I plan on holding my politicians to a higher standard. Do what we hired you to do – the hard work of working out our laws and getting them passed. I for one will sacrifice getting something now vs later in order to preserve the important safety guards to hold our government accountable.

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