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EDITORIAL: Inaugurating Leviathan
Magnified presidential authority means a weaker America
Question of the Day
As Washington sweeps away the parade confetti left behind from President Obama’s second inaugural, those who still honor the Founders’ vision of America must hold fast to their conviction that our republic will someday stand once again as a “shining city on a hill.”
Though the theme of Inauguration Day 2013 was “faith in America’s future,” the United States has seldom chosen a president more determined to separate the nation from its traditional reverence for faith, family and freedom. The proposition that individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, is harder to see in the vision of Mr. Obama’s America where administrative agencies make choices for individuals, even down to the details of dictating the design of everyday household appliances. Key to the transformation in the scope of the federal government has been the relentless assault on the U.S. Constitution, the mooring securing the ship of state since its inception. As a former lecturer on constitutional law, Mr. Obama is well aware that relentlessly chipping away at the founding document’s meaning will tear away the country from a past that once recognized the value of individualism.
The signature achievement of his first term, Obamacare, established the precedent whereby the White House can force citizens to purchase a service that had previously been a matter of personal choice. The health care mandate goes so far as to override the distinct choices of religious organizations, forcing them to provide contraception and abortion coverage against their will. This is a clear attempt to undermine the previously sacrosanct respect for religious freedom in American political culture.
Constructing a bureaucratic Leviathan to regulate economic activity is meant to supplant the family structure that has traditionally served as the backbone of the nation. Washington overspending and overregulation has sapped the private sector’s vigor, making unemployment of around 8 percent a persistent feature of our economy. With more than 46 million now on food stamps, Uncle Sam has become a major provider for millions of American children rather than mothers and fathers.
Mr. Obama’s recent threat to circumvent Congress and enact his liberal policies through executive order previews his second-term intentions. His 23 gun control actions proposed last week exemplify a disregard for the separation of powers and a preference for governance through edict. Other presidential acts, such as “recess” appointments while the Senate is in session, have further demonstrated a determination to shift the balance of authority away from the people and their representatives.
The president has granted himself the ultimate authority to order the death of individuals overseas he considers a threat to the United States. His “kill list” has made him judge, jury and executioner of hundreds in drone strikes in the Middle East, a dangerous precedent that could one day be expanded in scope.
The United States is the world’s oldest democracy not because of the power of its presidents, but because its founding principles unleash the creative force of its citizens. The weakening of faith, family and freedom under Mr. Obama must only strengthen Americans’ resolve to keep their dreams alive until time removes his heavy hand and liberty flourishes once again.
The Washington Times
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