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Commentary :: Human Rights : Politics
Populist #27
22 Apr 2006
Power in the Executive Branch
As a brief closure to our discussion on war powers in the Executive Branch, it's important to note that, over the years, opponents of the structure of this power in the Constitution have often compared these powers to those of the British kings in the 18th century; while proponents have referred to such accusations as preposterous. But, although it may be asserted that the King of Britain did have the express power of making peace or war, in practice, he almost never thought it wise to do so without the advice of parliament; from whom he would derive his support. Therefore, in this respect, these powers, in both the American President and the British Monarch, are substantially the same. The final paradox, if this nonsense, both theoretical and practical, long continues, will be a decreasingly democratic United States working to impose bogus democracy worldwide.

Eventually, I hope that we will come to realize that violating the Constitution in an effort to pursue Woodrow Wilson's idealism of using America's power to promote "democracy" across the globe is a seriously dangerous foreign policy. President Wilson claimed that America was spreading democracy worldwide, and yet women in the United States at that time were still not even allowed to vote.

It has been observed in a former paper, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a due responsibility to the People. The safety of a people in a free country depends on the share of proportion they have in the government. The two greatest securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any delegated power, first, the restraints of public opinion, which lose their effect without a proper level of responsibility, and second, the opportunity of punishment for those who violate their trust. Without these, there can be no true responsibility whatsoever in the executive department; an idea unacceptable in a free society.

It is the essence of the legislative branch to enact laws, or, in other words, to establish rules for the regulation of the society; while the execution and enforcement of the laws, as well as the common defense comprise the functions of the executive. Originally, the President of the United States was meant to be little more than an executive officer, with highly-limited powers restricted mostly to carrying out the legislative directives of Congress.

The President was to have only a small number of specifically-listed tasks; including the appointment of ambassadors and other federal officials, the power to veto legislation, and a small number of other functions; most of which were subject to approval from Congress. The legislative branch was meant to be superior to the President in legislation, but even this branch was meant to be inferior to the People.

The Executive Magistrate, according to the Constitution, must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." To carry out this responsibility, the President of the United States now presides over the largest branch of the federal government; the executive branch is a gigantic organization of about four million people, including one million active-duty military personnel.

It is a widely-accepted maxim that a weak executive implies a weak execution of the government. A weak execution is but another phrase for a poor execution; and a government poorly-executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government. In examining our government, we must also consider the converse. An overbearing executive implies an overbearing execution of the government, which is but another phrase for a tyrannical execution; and a government run in such a manner, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, despotic.

Admitting that moderate and even well defined powers, long unattended to by the People, will, probably, be unreasonably increased, it would follow that even extensive powers placed in the hands of a person only for a few years, without due diligence would also be abused. Thus, adequate powers must be delegated to those who govern, and security for our freedom must be in specifically limiting, defining, and guarding the exercise of them. This will only help to ensure that those entrusted powers will not be abused, or made use of for seizing more. The great object, therefore, in a free country, is to guard effectually against perpetuating any portion of power, large or small, as this is entirely contradictory to the true spirit of self-government.

Thus, we have now arrived at the next phase in our study of the Executive Branch. In coming papers, I will endeavor to fully examine the following:

1. Mode of election and the electoral college
2. Term of eligibility
3. Veto power
4. Impeachment
5. Power to pardon
6. Appointment and other enumerated powers
7. Executive order and privilege

At first glance, the office of the President of the United States appears to me to have such a great combination of powers that it is dangerous to our liberty. To be the commander in chief of the military and militia; to have the power of making treaties and of granting pardons; to have the power to put a negative upon all laws, unless two-thirds of both houses shall insist upon enacting it, is in reality nearly as much of a king as the British kings once were; and one of the worst kind; an elected king!

All three branches of the federal government were intended to constantly hold the others in check; creating a limit to the power of all three branches rather than the capability to strengthen it. But, can the different departments be properly balanced when all these great powers are concentrated in one branch? Is it not likely that such power would cause this branch to destroy the delicate balance, and in time, grow to the point of complete domination? For those of you who scoff at such a thought, is it because you do not believe that an American can be a tyrant? We are certainly about giving the executive too much or too little; and in the course of less than thirty years we shall find that we have given enough to enable the President to take all.

As we continue to face the consequences of our nation's fascination with massive centralized bureaucratic programs, I believe it would serve us well to study the thoughts of those who first warned against granting excessive power to the President; and by this, I mean the poorly-named Anti-Federalists, from the early years of the American Republic. It is their wisdom that I hope to invoke in this examination, and it is the dire consequences they predicted that we must all hope to avoid!

In working to correct the great troubles we all labor under today, let the free people of America, consulting their own wisdom, aim for nothing other than equal liberty for all. Let them appeal to that everlasting principle of self-government and self-preservation, which acknowledges that liberty is the goal which all political institutions must strive for, and the goal to which all political institutions must be sacrificed!

I personally would insist upon, at minimum, whatever is necessary to reduce the power of the executive within the confines of safety, and I shall abandon any hope of satisfaction with the government until this office is reduced to a lower degree of power. My goal is to begin revealing my reasons for this in coming papers. My next, on May 4, 2006, will focus on the Electoral College and the mode of presidential elections.

"Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
- Thomas Jefferson


In the spirit of liberty and prosperity,


Franklin
See also:
http://www.populistamerica.com

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Re: Sex Slaves of Jefferson
22 Apr 2006
"Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
- Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson should know, he had sex with a slave he owned. The slave woman was the half sister of Jeffersons wife. This expert on human freedom kept his sister-in-law as a slave, had sex with her, and had children who were also his slaves. Talk about "those entrusted with power...perverted into tyranny." The man kept HIS OWN CHILDREN as chattlel slaves. How can anyone take his lofty words on human freedom seriously.