By Rod & Sherri Dodsworth, staff writers
It is no secret that over recent decades, constitutionally defined powers reserved to Congress or the states have swirled into the Executive branch. As a result, no matter the name or the party, the next President will possess and put to use the autocratic power secured by Barack Obama. His will be a broad authority associated far more with the likes of brute strongmen like Hugo Chavez than with George Washington.
But don’t put the entire blame on Obama, for he didn’t pull the keystone to the Framers’ division of powers and claim them all for his own. Blame early 20th Century Progressives for democratizing the Senate and concentrating power in Washington DC. Just as the Roman Republic didn’t descend into a tyrannical empire overnight, the slide of the American Republic into its current misery has been long in the making. Obama and his party simply took advantage of a hundred year trend.
Congress began to relinquish its Article I powers upon ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, a process which accelerated under the New Deal and Great Society as the Executive branch pursued the pinnacle of raw and arbitrary power.
And now our government relies increasingly on Executive and Judicial precedent rather than legislative statute or the Constitution for the supreme law of the land. Every Executive and Judicial excess since the New Deal has been built on prior outrages. Ask the coiffed and pedicured lawyers who convinced SCOTUS to rewrite Obamacare and they will claim that it was entirely constitutional all along. After all, the high court Justices have revised legislation to their own satisfaction since FDR. The limits to governmental authority are now determined only by those in power, based on what they believe they can get away with.
We have an elective despotism in which the people every four years elect a near-autocrat rather than a constitutionally limited president. This soon to be mortal wound is self-inflicted by a people too wrapped up in election year personalities and inanities to understand that corrupt institutions must be torn down and rebuilt if liberty is to be restored.
Should events continue along their present course we run the serious risk that a future president will decide elections are no longer necessary or are too great a threat to public safety.
Reform cannot emerge from Washington, DC. If this nation is to return to free, limited government, “We the Sovereign People” must take the lead through our states. And that is to be accomplished through Article V of our Constitution. The Framers’ precious bequest of Article V formalizes the right of the people to frame their government, to define its responsibilities and set the boundaries of its power.
Contact your state assemblyman and senator. Demand that your state makes the Article V application to Congress for a convention of the states to propose structural amendments that limit the size and scope of government.
Time is short. We must do this now, before corrupt politicians prevent the exercise of our rights in the future.