One doesn’t have to look far to see that America has fallen into a considerable amount of chaos and disorder under the Obama administration. From millions of illegal immigrants flooding the country, to an increase in racial tension, to the confusion over Obamacare, it’s clear that the new Republican Congress has some serious challenges moving into 2015 and beyond.
What will be even more interesting to see is how the President will work with a more conservative Congress since he, in his own words, “can take action to change the law” without their approval. We know that the role of the President under the Constitution is to make sure that the law is faithfully executed. It’s Congress that creates law, not the President. Never mind that granting amnesty to untold millions of illegal immigrants is neither lawful nor popular with almost anyone, but if the President no longer needs Congress to create law, maybe they should adjourn indefinitely and Obama can rule by decree.
It’s pretty ironic that just after Obama bragged about his executive actions on immigration that he also said, “Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of laws.” It may be hard for some to contradict themselves in the same speech, but such is the gift of Barack Obama.
By now, most of us have heard the famous quote about our system of government as one “of laws and not men” which was taken from an essay written by John Adams (1775). Adams was discussing the rule of the British Empire over the colonies. He began to explore the idea of America as an independent commonwealth and furthermore, that rights could not be granted by government, but through the law of nature – God.
In the same essay, Adams makes a careful distinction between a republic and an empire. “A republic is bound by fixed laws which the people have a voice in making and a right to defend.” He defines an empire as “a despotism and an emperor, a despot, bound by no law or limitation, but his own will…”
America as a Constitutional Republic is of, by, and for the people. What has been done through the careful crafting of our Constitution by the likes of John Adams and James Madison is being undone through the executive orders of Barack Obama. Obama is not the only President to use executive orders, but it’s the scope of those orders changing major pieces of legislation and going around our elected body of Congress that is the issue.
Obamacare, amnesty, gun control, as well as climate change legislation await Congress in the new session next year. The current path of this government is not sustainable. Will they finally rein in the abuse of power by the President or are we witnessing the death of the Republic and the rise of the American empire?