08 Mar GOVERNMENT BY THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED
We often talk and write about the building blocks of America: the ideas that have made America the beacon of freedom to the world—the destination for just about everyone who has tired of the tyranny and oppression that socialism and other ‘un-American’ systems impose on the people.
One of those building blocks is the simple idea that government—the law-generating and law-enforcing agent of society—should derive its authority from the consent of the governed. In other words, we ‘don’t do’ dictators in America; we don’t allow laws to be made by executive fiat. The consent of the governed idea is straight out of the Declaration of Independence.1
We’re in a lot of trouble as a country now for many reasons, but near the top of the list of reasons is a loss of the idea of ‘consent of the governed’. We are watching a descent into lawlessness that has shaken the American people. Put bluntly, the American people rightly perceive that the government does not listen to the people any more.
Two examples illustrate the point.
The first involves immigration/amnesty policy. Congress passes laws that govern Americans, and they have duly passed many laws relating to immigration. There is a procedure in place in those laws for people from other countries to apply to become citizens. And those laws say that if you enter America illegally or overstay your legal visa, you may be deported.
Americans elect their members of Congress and those members make laws. By choosing our Congress, we are giving our consent that those people and not others in society can make binding laws.
But President Obama issued numerous Executive Orders that changed the immigration laws, and those orders directly contradict the laws Congress passed. This ongoing lawlessness of issuing orders that substitute the President’s judgment for the judgment of the elected Congress which has the sole right to pass laws, is a direct affront to the idea of government by the consent of the governed.
A second example: the ‘Iranian deal’. At this writing, the Iranian deal promoted by the Obama administration appears likely to be voted down by large majorities in both the House and the Senate, against a backdrop of public opinion polls indicating nearly 80% of Americans also oppose the deal. Yet the Obama administration apparently intends to march forward and implement it.
Forget all the back-and-forth about the wisdom of the Corker Bill and the question of whether this agreement is a ‘treaty’ under the Constitution that should require a different vote. Forget all the celebrations of the cleverness by which Obama managed to get this done with only 34 out of 100 Senators approving.
What about the basic principle of governing with the consent of the governed? The Iranian deal directly relates to the national security interests of the United States, and by every measure, the people of the United States of America do not approve of it. And it’s not close.
These affronts to the American people are not minor nor are they isolated. Losing the sense in America that We the People elect our leaders and they rule with the consent of the governed is tearing away at the fabric of liberty.
The people need to insist to their leaders that we return to a nation that honors its heritage and building blocks, including government acting with the consent of the governed.
1We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —