Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 30, 2012

CONFER: The president is not a king

Niagara Gazette — Students of American history will recall some of the many grievances against King George III that were called out in the Declaration of Independence. Among them were the following:

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

“ … imposing Taxes on us without our Consent”

“… depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury”

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws”

I cite those indictments because they represent just a few that still affect us to this day.

But, rather than a monarch being the source of such unconscionable anguish, it is our very own President that has been guilty of such crimes against our people.

It was never intended to be this way.

In the years that followed the signing of that sacred document on July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers utilized their newfound independence to fashion a government that was beholden to the people (rather than a people that were beholden to the government). Knowing full well the flaws that come with Kings, they created a republic, and for it a Constitution that clearly called out the limited powers and responsibilities of our federal government.

In just over 1,000 words they defined the role of the Executive — the president — someone who theoretically replaced the role of the king, but unlike a king, had almost no powers. The president could not make laws, exert taxes and fees, and declare war among numerous other things that kings took for granted. A president’s duties were very few: He was to be the face of our nation, the commander in chief of our armed forces, the appointer of judges and ambassadors, and he was to execute the laws created by Congress.

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