Reactions to recent constitutional violations are pathetic and they will truly be the demise of our republic. Tyranny is unfolding before our very eyes. Astonishingly, shoulders are shrugged, just like in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Legislative representatives are saying, “There’s nothing we can do – precedents have been established.” Really? Our nation was built with brighter minds than this and more fortitude. The legislative branch is collectively sounding like Neville Chamberlain.
Our constitutional branches of government were specifically designed to be dependent on each other, not independent. Today, the executive branch executes in a style reminiscent of the French Revolution. To the guillotine go all political efforts of the legislative branch to check the president. Let us not forget, the French Revolution led to a tyrant – Napoleon.
Passivity and apathy are the engines of anti-constitutionalists. Due to this lack of accountability, we are losing both major and minor constitutional battles in obvious ways and not-so-obvious ways. The president’s illegal pick-and-choose execution of Obamacare and the recent execution of the Iranian “deal” are two such examples.
Both the former and the latter need to be addressed. Yet we are being told that there is no way to check the president and the executive branch. We are being told that precedents bar the door to justice. Presidents, both past and present, have set unconstitutional executive precedents. Regrettably, at the cost of our freedoms, they were not held accountable by the legislative branch or, even more importantly, us.
The most recent example is the execution of the Iranian “interim deal.” It is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Now this argument will impel lawyers, experts, and liberals to shout out in disagreement. They will say, “A treaty has to have x, y, & z in it before it can be recognized as a treaty; only then will it have to be approved by the Senate.” Defiantly, they will redefine “treaty.” They do this to attain the goal of the president. Meanwhile, back on the home front, we the people, who have become lazy stewards of our republic, unaware of what’s really in the Constitution, have allowed, and continue to allow, our presidents to set unconstitutional precedents. Lawyers prop up these presidents as the legislative branch topples.
We have been betrayed not only by past presidents who have made “deals” with foreign nations and defied Congress, but also by a Congress that has let it happen due to “precedents.” Consider this: Do we let someone steal because someone else stole even if it was in the best interest of a person in need? Do we let a president lie because another president lied?
At some point there has to be accountability before our liberties and country are beyond return and beyond recognition, before we have drones hovering in front of our windows, medical care that is substandard, an economy that falters, taxes at 65%, and foreign vulnerabilities that are irreversible.
Blurring the lines of the Constitution blurs the lines of our liberty. Just for the record, Merriam-Webster defines “treaty” as “the action of treating and especially of negotiating, an agreement or arrangement made by negotiation, a contract in writing between two or more political authorities (as states or sovereigns) formally signed by representatives duly authorized and usually ratified by the lawmaking authority of the state.”
What happened in Iran is an agreement and/or an arrangement that was made by negotiation. It is a treaty, even if an interim one, and it should’ve been approved by the Senate. This is the plain and simple truth of it. What does Congress do? Nothing. What do we do? Nothing. We complain about it, worry about it, but do nothing. It’s time to do something. It is time to demand constitutional accountability and vote into office people who are brave enough to acknowledge constitutional violations — with precedents — and do something about it. Otherwise we, as a nation, are digging our own grave.
Everyone talks about these constitutional problems with no real solutions. Perhaps we should look to Belva Lockwood for guidance. Lockwood, who was featured in my book Holding Her Head High, in 1884 was the first woman on the ballot for president who received votes. She became a lawyer after fighting for her right to get an education and then fighting for the right to receive her diploma. She had a case that was to be argued in front of the Supreme Court. She was told, however, by the male Supreme Court justices that she could not be on the bar of the Supreme Court because she was a woman. When she inquired why not, the reply was that there was no precedent for a woman to be on the bar of the Supreme Court. Lockwood stormed her way to Capitol Hill. After five years of unyielding determination, a bill was passed that women could be on the bar of the Supreme Court. Thus, it can be done. Precedents can be overturned by bills in Congress – if “we the people” demand them.
An agreement, of any sort, between our government and foreign nations has potentially drastic effects on the people of the United States. It should be approved by the Senate as the Constitution states in Article II, Section 2. This is what our forefathers intended. Article II, Section 2 addresses what our founding fathers feared — an executive branch that would govern by ego instead of what is best for the country. The Iranian interim deal is a treaty that gives total relief to Iran, with nothing significant in return. Long-fought-for sanctions have been lifted, perhaps never again to be attained, while Iran continues to maintain its centrifuges with no demolition of its manufacturing capabilities. This is a deal that threatens our national security greatly. Why is this happening? Power. Pride.
Propelling President Obama’s negligent actions is quite simply his ego. He wants to have a “legacy” – a legacy at the expense of our safety. Next will be his historic trip to Iran, which will no doubt be followed by a dangerous, nuclear-armed Iranian theocracy, which will threaten, if not topple, our democracy. “Men are not angels,” Publius states in The Federalist. Currently, what’s happening with Iran is the very type of incident our ever-so-relevant Constitution is meant to prevent. If only we would heed its call.
Watch out, Richard Nixon.