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Letter: Imperial presidency


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

From the earliest days of the Constitution of the United States of America, the most familiar symbol to represent that document has been the triangle. The Constitution establishes the three branches of our federal government that are depicted as the three legs of the triangle. The first, the legislative, creates our laws, but also, if necessary, can exercise the power to impeach the president and even Supreme Court justices. The second, the executive, enforces the laws of the land, but can also veto congressional legislation and appoint Supreme Court justices with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Supreme Court makes sure that presidential actions and legislative acts are according to the Constitution. Each branch serves as a check and balance of the other. So what’s new, or damaged?

The triangle is still there, but is, look closely, fading. The triangle is no longer a sharp image. In its place is a vertical line, like the letter “I” with the president at the top. He is supported rather than checked by the Congress, and now, going to be stabilized by a probably friendly Supreme Court.

Hmmm – the letter “I” as in imperial? An imperial presidency? (Hey, remember Richard Nixon’s “palace guard uniforms” for his White House security force?) Fortunately, the uniforms, well, Nixon also, did not last too long.

Please remember that we are a republic. We elect our leaders. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

CHARLIE STEPANEK

Concord