It must have been nice to live in 18th-century America. Indoor plumbing was primitive and I don’t think too many of us would like the food very much, given there were no refrigerators or preservatives.
But there were other compensations, to be sure. Life moved at a decidedly slower pace. This was not only good for the heart but proved to be wonderful for sober reflection and thoughtful discourse. Hasty action was frowned upon. And in the case of the fledgling United States government, it was nearly impossible to act quickly or rashly.
That’s because our founders built into the system of government checks and balances to prevent a tyrannical majority from running roughshod over the rights of the minority. They even created the “Greatest Deliberative Body in the World” to make sure the passions of the “mob” didn’t lead to disaster. It’s why they empowered the chief executive to rein in Congress when necessary with his veto pen.
Checks. Balances. Dispersion of power. Safety for citizens.
The last three presidents haven’t followed the rules. They have all enacted major initiatives using “executive orders,” which have the full force and effect of law, even though Congress did not give their approval.
Now comes the turn of Democrats — a different Democratic Party than when even Barack Obama was president. And with the Democratic primaries appearing to winnow out the losers and elevating others to prominence, maybe was should start asking what kind of chief executive will these people really be?
Bernie Sanders doesn’t trust you. He doesn’t trust you to make intelligent decisions for yourself or your family. He believes you need to be led by the nose to the water trough and told exactly what is in your best interests.
And since the chances pretty slim of even a Democratic Congress doing what he commands, he will fall back on using the “executive order” to govern.
“As we continue discussing the early work of your presidency and the progress we can make, below for review is a brief overview of executive actions you could take early in your administration,” read a document reviewed by the Post. “We cannot accept delays from Congress on some of the most pressing issues, especially those like immigration where Trump has governed with racism and for his own corrupt benefit.”
Several of the executive orders would reverse President Trump’s policies on immigration, including an immediate halt of border wall construction, removing a limit on accepting refugees for asylum, and reinstating the Obama-era DACA program.
OK, so Democrats hate Trump. But Sanders would go far beyond Trump-hatred and consciously, deliberately wreck the American economy.
The list of potential executive orders includes unilaterally allowing the United States to import prescription drugs from Canada; directing the Justice Department to legalize marijuana; and declaring climate change a national emergency while banning the exportation of crude oil. Other options cited in the document include canceling federal contracts for firms paying less than $15 an hour and reversing federal rules blocking U.S. funding to organizations that provide abortion counseling.
The campaign’s potential executive orders come amid increased scrutiny about how Sanders, one of the most left-leaning members in Congress, would attempt to advance his agenda. One of Sanders’s top rivals on the campaign trail, former vice president Joe Biden, has talked about working with Republicans in some cases to enact his agenda. Sanders’s approach appears to be different.
That “approach” is damn near-dictatorial and is an arrow aimed at the heart of the capitalist system. Banning fracking is also on the Sanders agenda, meaning that Sanders intends to starve industry of energy. The minuscule reduction in CO2 in the atmosphere could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Yes, but at least those jobs that were left would pay $15 an hour.
We knew Sanders was a radical and we knew he would govern as a true-believing socialist. But the extent of his vision of acting without congressional approval is breathtaking.
I really wish I lived in the 17th century.