Worried about the election results? Have no fear, “checks and balances” are still here!
As the Republican presidential primary campaign rocked along, the candidate least expected to win among an original field of 17, Donald Trump, won. He made what many considered to be “outlandish” promises if he were elected; as we know, he succeeded in both the Republican primary and in the general electoral balloting, becoming our 45th president.
Now many Americans are concerned, some even frightened, by many of the future actions the new president might take which could adversely affect civil liberties.
Given the fact that the revamped American Nazi Party, David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan and Richard Spencer’s “Alt-Right” (supremacist) group all supported Trump’s election, many Jews and other minorities are especially concerned with what future developments might occur.
Do you remember what you were probably taught at least as early as the ninth grade, the concept of “checks and balances”?
That is, under the U.S. Constitution, each of the three branches has a primary purpose: Congress makes laws, Executive enforces laws and Judicial interprets laws.
In addition, each branch has “checks” on the powers of the other two branches. For example, the president can issue executive orders, but Congress can refuse to pay for their cost.
Given the fact that the majority of members of both houses of Congress and the president of the United States are members of the same political party (Republican), you might think that the president has carte blanche to do whatever he wishes. … Not so!
Actions deemed “unconstitutional” could be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also remember that not all congressional Republicans may agree with the president on each and every issue. They may withhold funding, and often there are disagreements within each party on various issues.
Other protections against possible presidential or congressional abuse include the people’s right of protest (freedom of speech) and news sources’ right to inform (freedom of the press).
The next four years may be some of the most interesting in our lifetime. Whatever may happen, be sure to keep those U.S. Constitutional checks and balances in your thoughts.
Let’s not forget that as good citizens, we have a responsibility not only to stay informed, but also to communicate with our representatives by writing or calling our congressmen, our senators and the president to express our views on the issues which most concern us.
Remember that We the People are the most important part of our “checks and balances” system.