Now that Donald Trump has been elected president, Facebook conservatives have abandoned any semblance of supporting or even knowing the US Constitution.
The same people who screamed, and rightfully so, against every unconstitutional act by Obama are now cheering when it is suggested that President Trump acts unilaterally on the same issues. If it is illegal and unconstitutional for one president to allow something, wouldn’t it be just as illegal and unconstitutional for the next president to ban the same thing?
Instead, folks need to think a little deeper. They can’t just say, “That’s a great idea, Go Trump!” but instead they should ask themselves “Is this a power of the office of the presidency according to the Constitution?”
This is very apparent on Facebook. There are hundreds of pro-Trump groups and many, many more pro-Trump pages on Facebook. The members of these groups are by a large majority patriotic, love America and want President Trump to succeed. But where does the line fall between supporting a president and supporting an agenda, whether through constitutional or unconstitutional means?
Take, for example, the post below:
Where in the Constitution does the president have the power to declare English or any other language the official language of the United States? It doesn’t. That small detail seems to escape the majority of people. For this one post alone, there were hundreds of likes, shares and comments. “YES! – Hell Yeah! and “It is about time” were just some of the comments left by the Facebook crowd. There was not one person who at least publicly questioned the legality of the presidential action. For that rare opposing voice, even if just questioning the constitutionality of the proposed act, they will be the subject of name calling, ridicule, and basically be called un-American or a liberal troll.
(Remember, we are not discussing whether this post and the ones to follow are factually accurate. Trump did not sign anything declaring English the official language of America. We are just discussing the reactions to the unconstitutional proposed presidential action).
Can President Trump unilaterally call for the arrest of any private citizen without any kind of due process or without the case first being investigated by the FBI or Department of Justice? This next post would have you think he can:
Where does the Constitution grant the president such power? Again, it doesn’t. What is obviously lost to the many, many people who liked, shared and left positive comments on this post is that if they support Trump in unilaterally calling for the arrest of private citizens now, what stops the next president calling for their arrest? Constitutional principles seem to be dead, even among those who call themselves conservatives.
I know that even among Trump’s most ardent supporters they don’t want him to become a tyrant or dictator. We have experienced, and tolerated, a huge expansion of power in the office of president. From Clinton to Bush and especially Obama, each succeeding president has exercised more and more power outside the bounds of the Constitution. The blind support for such actions by Trump supporters, even if these proposed actions are fictitious, is done out of ignorance. They just don’t know what the Constitutional limits of presidential power are.
So, just what are Trump’s powers?
The powers of the office of the presidency are outlined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. In case you haven’t read these in a while:
1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Of course the president does more than this and has a greater influence on the political climate and political agenda of the nation. But, the powers of the office of the presidency are pretty limited. These do not, for another example, include:
The office of the presidency does not have the power to control spending, even in the State Department. Funding for specific programs is controlled by Congress. Specifically, according to Article I, Section 7, the House of Representatives controls America’s spending. The annual budget of the country must pass both houses of Congress. The president cannot arbitrarily spend or not spend any of the public funds to support or cut-off any program. What is lost to the hundreds of people who liked this post is that if the president can cut-off funding to programs without Congress, what stops the next president from cutting of programs upon which they may rely? Answer: nothing.
The Trump presidency is still in its infancy. He has only been in office for three months. As we move forward as a nation, for us to truly “Make America Great Again” will mean more than just blindly supporting an agenda or blindly opposing the acts of the former president and the opposing party. For America to truly be great again, we MUST return to our Constitutional principles of free market economy, fair competition and limited government.
Conservatives are the ones, without regard to party, who are supposed to think! Use your critical thinking skills and do not get swept up in Trump fever in shredding our Constitution.