The seriousness of our decline in terms of honoring the Constitution and the Rule of Law cannot be overestimated. The US is slowly seeing its form of government disappear and the rate of deterioration is suddenly accelerating.
Massive change rarely comes all at once. It comes in small increments, almost unnoticed, until one day it is recognized but too late to reverse. That is exactly how the institutional metamorphosis from the most cultured nation in the world degenerated into Nazi Germany.
Doug Casey’s comments regarding this process are below. The process that 1930s Germany went through is scarily similar to the neglect and lack of concern by American citizens:
David Galland recently read They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, by Milton Mayer. He quoted a passage in his column of last Friday. It goes a long way in explaining why Americans appear to be such whipped dogs today. They’re no different from the Germans of recent memory. For those who missed it, let me quote it:
“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ … In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’
“These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic… the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked… But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C?”
The quote from Mayer is truly frightening. I use these comments not to suggest that we are becoming Nazi Germany, but to show that the loss of freedom is subtle and slow until it reaches some critical point where people are afraid or unable to act. Are we on this path toward totalitarianism? Unless we reverse some recent legislation, it may already be too late. Unless we respect the law and individual freedom, that is exactly where we will end up. It is time to return to basic principles while we still can.
The acceleration of this decline under President Obama is frightening. From Doug Ross@Journal comes this list of likely abuses of the Constitution and usurping of powers never intended. All but the last one qualify:
• First President to Violate the War Powers Act
• First President to issue an unlawful “recess-appointment” while the U.S. Senate remained in session (against the advice of his own Justice Department).
• First President to halt deportations of illegal aliens and grant them work permits, a form of stealth amnesty roughly equivalent to “The DREAM Act”, which could not pass Congress
• First President to Require All Americans to Purchase a Product From a Third Party
• First President to sue states for requiring valid IDs to vote, even though the same administration requires valid IDs to travel by air
• First President to Abrogate Bankruptcy Law to Turn Over Control of Companies to His Union Supporters
• First President to Bypass Congress and Implement the DREAM Act Through Executive Fiat
• First President to Threaten an Auto Company (Ford) After It Publicly Mocked Bailouts of GM and Chrysler
• First President to Demand a Company Hand Over $20 Billion to One of His Political Appointees
• First President to Terminate America’s Ability to Put a Man into Space.
• First President to Encourage Racial Discrimination and Intimidation at Polling Places
• First President to Have a Law Signed By an ‘Auto-pen’ Without Being “Present”
• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It
• First President to refuse to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena.
• First President to File Lawsuits Against the States He Swore an Oath to Protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN, etc.)
• First President to Withdraw an Existing Coal Permit That Had Been Properly Issued Years Ago
• First President to allow Mexican police to conduct law enforcement activities on American soil
• First President to Golf 90 or More Times in His First Three Years in Office
When one looks at the totality of what has happened in just three years, one cannot be optimistic. If Congress had a spine or principles, it would have stopped most of these actions. The fact that it didn’t removes the major check and balance from a truly imperial Presidency.
Without a meaningful separation of powers as provided for by the Founders, the presidency becomes no different than a dictatorship.