It’s important to look back to when this country won its freedom from England and what the founding fathers created. Wanting to go in a direction that put control in the hands of the citizens, the authors of the Constitution created what is called a Constitutional Democratic Federal Republic. The power of control was divided into three branches of the federal government— the Executive branch, the legislative branch, or the Congress that was composed of representatives from the states and the judicial branch. In simple terms, the Executive branch was in charge of carrying out the laws, the legislative branch to create or change existing laws as well as allocating funding for government spending and the judicial branch was to judge the laws as they comply with the stipulations as outlined in the Constitution.
This republic is different from a democracy, where the majority of voters can impose their will on the minority. Although political representation is determined by a democratic voting system, the US Republic’s Constitution and the Bill of Rights, even in the face of majority opinion, serve to protect its citizens inalienable rights.
There is now leeway in each of these branches’ roles to better meet the needs of the rapidly and unpredictably changing world. The President can issue Executive Orders that carry the full force of the law, including military strikes against the enemy as long as they don’t exceed 72 hours. In addition to formulating and passing bills that are sent on to the White House, the legislative branch has the power to override the President, through their veto power, to enact or change the laws, if it is by a two-thirds majority by both houses of Congress. They also have the authority to change the Constitution, if their will meets the same two-thirds majority, followed by a ratification of three-fourths of the state legislatures. The judicial branch (Supreme Court) has assumed wider latitude in their rulings by interpreting the intent of the Constitutional amendments.
The problem is that this blurring of the boundaries in our tripartite government is taking the power away from the people and putting it back in under federal control. The result is either autocratic control by whomever occupies the White House, or a deterioration into a mobocracy that is sensitized to the needs of the most vocal of the masses, as in Ferguson and Baltimore. Current examples abound that expose the threats to the Constitution: President Obama’s mandate on illegal aliens, his unwillingness to close the borders and enforce existing legislation that would control the rising inflow of illegal immigrants. Harry Reid, essentially shutting down the Senate, when he was majority leader. The initial ruling by the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act.
The United States is rapidly drifting away from the Republic where the will of the people dominate within the constraints of the Constitution. Instead, the country is moving in the direction of a democracy, that responds to mob outcry, where special interests and not the Constitution rule. A country where the President uses his ‘pen and his phone’ to go around Congress, and issues mandates that often appear to violate the Constitution. Where the work of the Congress is ground to a halt at the will of the Senate Majority Leader. Where controversial Supreme Court decisions are virtually always determined by one vote margin because the Justices, even in the face of overwhelming testimony to the contrary, are intransigent in their basic beliefs.
Is the threat to our Constitutional Republic’s governance by the people just part of an evolution in an ever-changing and more complex world or is there a slow movement toward socialism? A federation of states, where more power moves under centralized control as the citizens willingly vote themselves more subsidies, leads to more dependency and less independency.
The current entitlement obligations, immigration policies and our runaway debt are going to transform the United States into a democracy under autocratic control. When that time comes, if hasn’t already, let’s just hope the autocrat who occupies the White House isn’t a despot.
Is this the vision for America that our founding fathers wanted?