Why to limit Presidential Power

Republican governors have been pledging to block Syrian refugees from coming into their states. The Texas governor even wrote the President a letter saying no refugees will be allowed into his state. President Obama has asserted that he will bring in the refugees anyways and he will.  This is because of a law signed into power by Ronald Reagan. This law makes the governors powerless to stop the federal government from bringing in refugees.

This often seems to be the case for both left and right. When one party is in control of government they will give more power to the executive branch. Then the other party gets into office and use the executives new power. Of course, the party that is now on the outs will say “that’s not what it was meant for” but it does not matter, as the power is now in the hands of the executive branch and everyone is powerless to stop it.

This is why it is so important that we require all presidents to follow the Constitution. No one on the political left currently is concerned with Obama conducting Drone wars and an air war in Syria. The President is doing so without an Authorization for use of Military Force or declaration of war. What if Trump was president and was allowed to act under the precedent that President Obama has set. President Trump could start bombing Iran, Russia or China and no one could stop him.

Let’s also look to the way President Obama implemented the ACA. Several times as the law was being implemented it became clear that adjustments needed to be made or the ACA would fall apart. The President made several changes to the law through executive action. The Democrats cheered this. If Trump gets elected what kind of changes do you think he will make to our broken immigration laws? Obama has set the standard that if a law is broken the president can fix it. No one will be able to stop a President Trump from doing the same.

The USA FREEDOM ACT and NDAA also give the government the power to spy on Americans and hold Americans without trial. This was passed under Bush and continued through the Obama term. While the current abuses of these laws have been small, both presidents have used it to spy on Americans without warrants and imprison innocent Americans. No one was able to stop President Bush or Obama from abusing these laws and no one will be able to stop a President Trump from doing the same. Think about how he could use these laws to go after Muslims. He has already suggested spying on Masques and creating a registry. He could also start to spy on Americans to deport all the immigrants he has pledged to deport.

When we give presidents more power we often only think of the positives the president will do with the new power. Presidents set precedents for their successors. When the successor is not as morally good as his predecessor he can abuse the new powers the president has. This is why all Americans should fight to strip power away from the Executive Branch.


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