Okay, I have to confess. I’ve kind of enjoyed watching the hysterical, emotionally driven “progressive” left go into full meltdown mode since Election day. Frankly, regardless of whether or not as a conservative you voted for Mr. Trump, the show the left has put on for the last week has been way better than the actual campaign.
And, if you’re message prior to Election day was, “everyone who disagrees with me is a racist, bigot, homophobic, xenophobic moron,” then, by all means, double down on that message after you lose. Brilliant!
Look, I admit, I’m no fan of President-elect Trump, and have serious reservations about what his election means for our nation and culture. And, frankly, the rhetoric coming out of this election and to this day from too many people and far too many “leaders” has been disturbing, sometimes disgusting and generally indecent. But as I watch the hysteria unfold I do have to ask, why do so many people fear a President like they might an unrestrained king?
And there you have it.
I suspect those on the “progressive” left are fearful because their view of the power of the office of President is so dangerously skewed. They’ve grown up in a nation where, let’s face it, Congress is nearly irrelevant and has happily allowed itself to become an after-thought. It can’t pass anything of substance and generally, isn’t asked to do so. And by doing nothing or very little they are almost guaranteed re-election. And Presidents have taken advantage of that vacuum - both Republican and Democrat.
The modus operandi of the left is to use the courts or the executive to do what it can’t get done through the legislature. Our nation is embroiled in a debate over who can use what bathrooms because a letter – not even a regulation – from a bureaucrat in the Department of Education under the direction of the President (as in his administration) redefined what a law means and now it’ll be up to the Supreme Court, not the legislature that created the law, to decide if the bureaucrat is correct. An unaccountable bureaucrat and an unaccountable court accomplishing the will of the king. Too often Executive Orders have been used to circumvent the legislative process. Too often, the balance of powers has been abused. But when you can’t win enough elections because your ideas are outside the wishes of many Americans, it can apparently get pretty frustrating, and that whole balance of powers thing is just so yesterday.
But now, the left is worried that Mr. Trump will act the exact same way Mr. Obama acted as President with no balance from the other branches of government. Now, they fear a king.
What they don’t understand is the very system of government they trash and attack is the very system of government that, when executed properly, protects us from that which they fear. The Founders wanted no part of a king. Some, frankly, were pretty concerned about a President, but reluctantly accepted the idea because the legislature would provide the necessary balance. (We won’t get into their view of the courts. Let’s just say they wouldn’t recognize courts making law.) But that balance works only when the legislature is strong and the courts don’t legislate.
I’ve worried for years that the incessant attacks from both the left and the right on legislative bodies in this nation are going to undermine their credibility to the point of inhibiting their ability to provide balance to the other branches. Congress has an approval rating somewhere akin to Satan. Many on the left (and right) have made it sound like anything legislative bodies do is illegitimate because gerrymandering has tainted the entire process. It isn’t a far leap from illegitimate to unnecessary. Yes, Congress has failed in many ways, but the response to that shouldn’t be to shift more power to the Presidency and courts. It should be to force Congress to do its job. A long-term, hard, expensive, difficult task? You bet.
But way better than a king. For all of us.