Photo By Kara Harris/Cronkite News
Since Sept 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution has stood strongly on its tripartite system of government. The structure of checks and balances would prevent any one branch of the federal government from getting out of control thereby preserving our democracy.
Article 1 says, the legislative power is vested in Congress and that includes taxing, budget, and oversight of the executive branch. They also established post offices and declared war. The Writ of Habeas Corpus is never to be suspended. No money shall be taken from the treasury except by regular appropriations made by Congress.
Article II outlines the power of the executive branch. It is prohibited from receiving any other payment than the stated salary. The president is sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” S/he is commander in chief of the armed forces and can make treaties and appoint ambassadors and judges only with Senate consent. S/he “shall” give information to Congress and “shall” take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.
Article III vests the judicial power in a Supreme Court and lower courts. Treason is defined as levying war against the U.S. or giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the U.S. In Article IV, it says the executive shall protect the states against invasion and only on the application of the legislature or executive of that state, against domestic violence.
This current president, sworn to defend the Constitution, has violated every provision. He is trying to close the post office. He has suspended the Writ of Habeus Corpus by indefinitely detaining people after abducting them off the streets by unknown persons who refuse to identify themselves. He has taken money from the treasury and spent it in ways it was never appropriated to build a harmful wall. He has received personal remuneration for his property both from the U.S. government for housing the Secret Service and from foreign governments. He has refused to give information to Congress and ignored subpoenas. He has refused to follow the Rule of Law by ignoring the Supreme Court ruling in DACA and rejecting new applications. He violated the order of Judge Dolly Gee by not releasing children held in detention centers by July 27. He has committed treason by sending unknown troops into cities without the cities’ permission and thereby reigning violence and terror on innocent citizens attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights. He can intervene in domestic violence only on the application of the legislature or executive of that state. He has ignored that and gone into states without the knowledge or permission of governors and the legislature to commit violence with his rogue mercenaries. These mercenaries have violated the Rule of Law by continuing to assault and gas innocent citizens after the judge in Portland ordered them to stop.
He has given aid and comfort to the enemies of the U.S. by refusing to intervene after Russia put out a bounty on American soldiers in Afghanistan. Checks and balances have not worked. The judicial department has ordered and he has ignored. Congress has legislated and subpoenaed and he has ignored. A three-legged stool with two legs broken will collapse. Under our federalism system, the states also have power of their own where they are sovereign in certain situations. Because the original 13 states feared such a president as this, because they had seen such rampant abuse under King George, they insisted on the 10th Amendment that reserved all power to the states and the people that was not specifically delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution.
Thus the states have their own sovereignty to uphold. Yet he ignored that as well and sent his mercenaries in to teargas and beat pregnant women, old men, children, veterans, journalists, and everyone else they could reach.
The democracy that dozens of wars have been fought to preserve; that millions of men and women have died to protect has been destroyed in four years. The center in fact did not hold. The second civil war is upon us. Those who care about sustaining a democratic form of government must speak up now, must stand up now, and must tell your elected representatives at every level of government that they must protect the Constitution not their party; they must protect democracy, not power. If we fail at this moment, we will have proven Benjamin Franklin prescient– we have a republic – if we can keep it. Can we? It’s up to every one of us to act now or we leave our children and grandchildren a much worse life and a much worse future than was left to us.