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Mark Caserta: Americans will not succumb to tyranny

Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

I’ve always honored the word “republic.”

A hallowed term that echoes through the halls of Congress, it embodies the spirit of every man and woman who has given their life to secure our nation’s form of government.

A republic is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives as compared with a monarchy or a form of government where power rests in a single individual.

But, then there’s the presidential executive order.

An executive order is a remarkable power given to the president of the United States to enact law without the input of our elected representatives. Executive orders can only be given to federal or state agencies, not to citizens. 

While it’s true that from the founding of our nation, American presidents have issued various types of executive orders, the practice isn’t without controversy.

The Constitution applies a “broad” brush stroke in defining the president’s power of executive order and there are some legitimate applications. But a chief executive to whom such sweeping power is afforded must be held to the highest possible standard.

 If a president is proven to enact law irrespective of the wishes of the American people and their elected officials, it’s my belief such actions threaten our republic and fall under the periphery of Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which calls for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Last week, during Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the president unabashedly previewed his intent to circumvent Congressional representatives if they are unwilling to pass legislation aligning with his ideology.

 “I’m eager to work with all of you,” Obama told lawmakers. “But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Why does this president perpetually patronize Americans with his insistence that he knows best?  In bypassing Congress, he literally eradicates elected representation for individuals or families unable to represent themselves and fundamentally threatens the liberty of every American.

Legislators like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) believe Obama is clearly “outside the bounds” of his constitutional limitations.

“This threat that the president’s going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” King told CNN last week.

And for Democrat legislators to “cheer” the president as he promised to bypass them in the legislative process in his State of the Union address is symbolic of anemic liberal leadership, and frankly mind-numbing.

The very precept of our republic is being ostentatiously challenged in a manner which threatens our liberty and representative form of government.

Our country did not become the greatest nation in the world on the back of any single individual.  For Barack Obama to espouse wisdom transcending the combined counsel of our elected representatives is a quintessential display of tyrannical rule.

And Americans will not succumb to tyranny.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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