Op-Ed: Trump and Presidential Powers

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By Bill Britton

Bill Britton is a freelance writer and formerly an editor for John Hopkins University Press, ABI Research, and Elsevier Science.  He is a frequent contributor to Vero Communiqué.

Vero Communiqué encourages a free and open exchange of opinions and welcomes yours.  Through discussions like these we can all learn more about the topics themselves and the perspectives of others.

Mr. Britton’s Op-ed expresses his opinion and is not affiliated with Vero Communiqué’s editorial board.

 

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“The president of the United States calls the shots,” Trump said at a recent news briefing. “[The states] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States…When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.”

These quotes should disturb all Americans, no matter their political leanings. But such advocacy of absolute power is nothing new. In 1786, the President of the Continental Congress, Nathaniel Gorham, wrote on behalf of the U.S. government to Prince Henry, younger brother of the Prussian king, Frederick the Great. Henry was invited by Gorham to cross the Atlantic and become king of the nascent United States.

Since then, there have been calls to grant absolute power to the President at least twice: to Lincoln during the Civil War and to Roosevelt during the Great Depression/World War II period. Fortunately, nothing came of these calls. Trump’s declarations are different in that he is the only President to have claimed monarchial or dictatorial powers outright.

 

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The concentration of power in the presidency has become more intense throughout the history of our country, no matter whether that leader is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. The danger this time is that Trump’s Republican Party has raised only weak objections to his supposition that the power of the President is absolute. And because the Republican-controlled Senate is subject to Trump’s bidding, and because the Supreme Court has a conservative majority, our democracy itself could be at risk should the COVID-19 pandemic result in a prolonged economic depression.

Yes, this is an alarmist projection, but one only need look back on the Germany and Italy of the 1920s to find the potential for a similar socio-economic environment. Or if you are a student of history, think back to ancient Greece where the concept of “democracy” itself was born and later died in the disorder of the Middle Ages.

 

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6 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Trump and Presidential Powers

  1. This article is the kind of sick mind that the patriots are fighting against … obviously, you are part of the coup trying to overthrow Trump for YOUR TOTAL CONTROL … sorry, but evil is amidst us in articles like this!

  2. Trump has never and will never enforce the type of tyranny we are seeing from many mayors and governors around the state. For 3 years, the Left has accused him of being tyrannical and he never has been. When the pandemic hit, they criticized him for NOT implementing more edicts requiring people to stay home and businesses to close. They even think he should close the borders between states – that’s NOT HIS JOB! Now he has them clamoring for states rights with one statement – he plays them like a fiddle. Mr. Britton is not different but his comparison to a person who killed thousands of Jews is beyond the boundaries of intelligent dialog. Sad that Vero Communique would publish such despicable tripe. It’s laziness and ineptitude at it’s full measure.

  3. Hi Bill, how is Barbara? Did you hear about Dave Middleton? He almost died, I believe, from a heart attack. He has lost a lot of weight. Anyway, Hilda and I are doing very well and staying home because of Covid-19 from China. Bill, President Trump is not what you described him. It is the left wingers such as Adam Schiff, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the likes that are destroying America. Hilda and I will vote for him in November 2020.
    Bestest always and give our warm regards to Barbara.
    William

  4. –Admittedly, the Nazi image was over the top, but that image came to mind when Trump declared, “When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.” That quote is not fake news as some have stated. I apologize if I offended anyone.
    –Later, Trump backed off and said he is leaving it up to the states, which he is “authorizing” them to do, despite him having nothing to authorize as clearly stated in the Constitution. As far as my wanting to overthrow the government, I will leave that up to the electorate for better or worse. The last thing anyone would want is for anarchy to overthrow the electoral process.
    –Regarding the “they” that smehiel bandied about, the Left is not a monolith with a unified view of politics. Granted, the Left contains extremists whom I cannot abide, but the extremists on the Right march with quasi Nazi symbols on placards and t-shirts, which I find scary. And you must admit, Trump gins up extremist sentiments during his rallies.
    –We must remember that democracy is a delicate form of governance. It depends on a majority that cherishes the common good above all else. There are times when individual rights are secondary to the common good. The classic example is shouting “Fire” (free speech?) in a crowded theatre in the absence of an actual fire. Extremists are wont to do this in both subtle and not so subtle ways.

  5. The Bully Pulpit has morphed into the Bulls**t Pulpit: Trump just suggested that a possible cure for COVID-19 are injections of disinfectant (Lysol?). He is either grossly misinformed or grossly ignorant, but he has certainly become dangerous. I won’t even go into his suggestion that another cure might be “getting UV light inside the body. “

  6. Never Trumpers like Mr. Britton are very selective in their criticism and apparently have short memories. Perhaps he forgot Obama’s international apology tour, multiple scandals such as Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Uranium One, or George Bush Sr’s attempt to usher in the New World Order publicly, all of which were much more egregious power grabs than President Trump’s recent assertion regarding presidential authority. One measure of a president’s “tyrannical” tendencies would be the number of executive orders issued during his term. As the record shows, President Trump is on par with several recent presidents – low to mid 40s per year. For comparison, Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson issued well over 1000 executive orders. But Franklin D. Roosevelt wins the prize for executive orders at 3,721! Mr. Britton’s later statements referring to the United States as a democracy, show ignorance or utter disregard for our Republican form of government. His intolerance for those who do not share his political views, is evidenced by his use of labels like “extremists.” He continues his assault by making inflammatory statements like “Quasi Nazi symbols and placards” that he finds “scary” to describe President Trump’s loyalists, a well known tactic of the left to demonize the opposition. One wonders which “extremist sentiments” Mr. Britton is talking about. I have attended several Trump rallies with thousands of people and have never witnessed an incident of violence or “Quasi Nazi symbols.” The rallies in fact, have been EXTREMELY peaceful, energetic, and patriotic, despite attendees having to wait hours to get inside. Would Mr. Britton care to compare President Trump’s incitement of patriotism, to Maxine Waters instructions to her followers not to give Republicans a moments rest and to harass them everywhere – at their homes and at restaurants? Mr. Britton’s statements in regard to President Trump’s comments during a recent COVID19 update, are outrageous. President Trump never claimed to be a doctor, nor did he say that “people should inject Lysol into their veins.” Vero Communique should issue an immediate retraction of these defamatory statements. Does he really believe that people are going to run to the store and start shooting up Lysol? I’m sure the “Never Trumpers” would also blame President Trump for the teen trend of eating Tide Pods if they could! However, before I post what he ACTUALLY said, it was abundantly clear that President Trump was expressing an interest in “exploring” other options for cures rather than relying on the ONLY remedy proposed by “expert” Fauci – ineffective and potentially harmful vaccines that are at least a year or more away from becoming reality. Many people are unaware that Fauci also promised a vaccine for AIDS which never materialized, yet a very amused Bill Gates, who certainly does not feel our pain (heck, he doesn’t even wear a mask to protect the health of our president) shockingly suggests that we probably aren’t going to be able to reopen until a vaccine is created. Regarding Chemical injections, What is chemotherapy? Chemotherapy probably kills at least as many people as it helps, but it is considered “standard” treatment for cancers and other diseases. As to the interest in special lights for treatment of disease, my first son was born with jaundice. His eyes were covered and he was put under special lights to bring his bilirubin levels down before we could leave the hospital. After that, I was instructed to put him in the sun for a certain amount of time each day to help keep his count down. Doctors have to insert lights into our bodies for various procedures, and laser treatments are used for kidney stones and many other surgeries, so it is scientific fact that various lights are successfully used for medicinal purposes inside our bodies. Here is the actual text of his statement: “And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds—it sounds interesting to me.”

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