As the New Year begins, I’m already worried about the beginning of 2017. Can the United States withstand another year of Obama? Can the GOP stop internal squabbles and become unified? Will the Democrats retain the White House? Will the Constitution still matter?
A lot of thought needs to be directed towards the actions of President Obama. Once again he is using an executive order to unilaterally impose his will on the American people. Last Thursday he had a friendly CNN helping him explain his latest ruling: More gun control restrictions.
Meanwhile, North Korea is testing hydrogen bombs and Iran is testing ballistic missiles. Connect the dots. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOP) has been hailed by Obama and others as a triumph. The JCOP is the agreement between Iran and the international community to place limits on Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. In theory, it is designed to delay, not prevent Iran’s development of a nuclear arsenal. In return for cooperating, Iran has economic sanctions removed.
It’s a great deal, but only for Iran. Iran and North Korea do have diplomatic relations and both hate the United States. Therefore is it a stretch to think Iran and North Korea have or would consider an agreement where Iran builds the guns (i.e. ballistic missiles) and North Korea supplies the bullets (i.e. H-Bombs)?
This clearly embodies one of Obama’s false principles: Avoid conflict and hope the other side acts in good faith. It involves an almost laughable degree of naiveté. Obama likes to defend the cultures and peoples of other countries. That’s all well and good but what really matters is who is in control of those countries. If a country is run by extremists, common sense dictates you shouldn’t trust them. If Iran intends to comply in good faith with the JCOP, then what are they doing testing long range missiles? What? Are they trying to figure out how to deliver the mail faster? There is only one reason they would would even bother with ballistic missiles: It’s a pretty effective way to deliver nuclear payloads. It’s bothersome that Iran and North Korea are doing their respective tests at the same time. Is it mere coincidence? Is there any reason for us to wait and find out if there is a connection?
There is only one response to Iran’s actions: Tear up the treaty. If we don’t, it makes us look like idiots. If you negotiate a treaty in the interest of peace and the other side thumbs it’s nose at the spirit of said treaty, the treaty goes out the window. There is no dishonor in disavowing a treaty once the other party violates it. Iran can’t promise to limit development of nuclear weapons on the one hand but test methods of delivering such weapons on the other hand. The response from the United States should be: ‘We gave you a chance to earn our trust and avoid sanctions. However, we won’t be played for the fool. Come back and negotiate at another time when you are serious. In the meantime we will do whatever we have to do to protect our homeland.’
History has proven time and time again that both sides must want to cooperate. The second one side starts disregarding the treaty, force has to be used and used immediately by the other side. The choice is simple: Fight a small conflict now or a much larger one later.
Obama also seems to use another false principle in regards to international terrorism: If we leave them alone, maybe they will leave us alone. It was only after the terrorist attacks in Paris that Obama finally authorized our military to bomb trucks and other targets. Before that, he did nothing to cut and/or reduce revenue streams to terrorist organizations.
Obama insists his strategy against ISIS is working, but it seems to be a strategy based on a minimal use of force. I presume the rationale is if the terrorists perceive us as letting them be, their anger towards us will diminish. The reality is that the terrorists do not represent Islam or civilization in any respect. They are psychopaths. You can’t appease people who are insane.
Another of Obama’s false principles is: The President has a right to determine what’s best for the country regardless if Congress (or the American people for that matter) agrees with it or not. Regardless of whether you agree with Obama’s gun control stance or not, the fact remains that it seems to be the Executive and Judicial branches of government establishing major laws lately. What happened to the Legislative branch? Isn’t it up to the Legislative branch to establish major laws? Isn’t it also up to each branch of government to ensure that checks and balances are present?
When it suits their purposes, politicians often refer to the Founding Fathers to justify their actions. They are also just as likely not to mention the Founders when doing something contrary to what they intended. It would be hard to argue that the first President, George Washington, was in favor of a powerful President. At the time, people wanted to crown Washington as king. Thankfully, Washington had the wisdom to realize that America had just fought a war to free themselves of a monarchy. It would be very hard to name a monarchy or dictatorship that works just fine. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. As Obama continues to issue executive orders with increasing audacity, the more the Presidency becomes too powerful.
The United States, like every country on Earth needs a leader. Sometimes it’s necessary for one person to have the unilateral power to act expeditiously. We don’t always have the luxury to debate certain decisions. In cases of national emergencies, war, etc…the President is the one who has to make the tough calls. In times of peace however, it isn’t up to the President to circumvent Congress.
Obama knows there isn’t anything that can be done to stop his executive orders. For Congress to override such orders it would take more than just a simple majority vote to override it. Realistically, that isn’t going to happen. Therefore he is going to go as far as he can with such orders.
This establishes an incredibly dangerous precedent. If future Presidents follow Obama’s lead, the ramifications can have all kinds of consequences. How would an avowed socialist such as Bernie Sanders use executive orders? How would a Trump Administration use them? How about future Presidents? Should one person wield so much power?
Then there is also the issue of executive pardons. Even if duly convicted of a crime, the President has the power to secure your release through a Presidential pardon. Suppose a group of people violates a law the President disagrees with? Hypothetically, a President could render a law essentially worthless by pardoning anyone convicted of violating it.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Obama follows a principle that some elements of the Constitution are unnecessary, if not bothersome. Namely, the Second Amendment which states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
When I was younger I was naïve enough to believe that perhaps this was an outdated concept inasmuch as it related to armed militias. Ironically, because of the Obama Administration, I have a far better understanding and appreciation of this law. I don’t believe the intent of this law was to empower extremist groups. However, I do believe it was established to provide law-abiding citizens who believe in the Constitution, a means of resisting tyranny. It is very thought-provoking. This law was passed in the 18th century by a fledgling United States that had just won its independence from Great Britain. It’s quite understandable why the Founders would institute such a law. From their perspective, the United States was a new and vulnerable nation. Certainly, foreign threats were a key consideration. However, it should never be ignored that domestic threats to freedom (in the form of an oppressive government and/or internal threats) was also a key consideration. The ability to adapt over time is crucial to a nation’s survival. Nevertheless, it would be hard to argue that the Founders envisioned a a massive federal government. In the final analysis it would be foolish to conclude that freedom is any less vulnerable in the 21st century and it would equally foolish to think the 2nd Amendment is no longer necessary.
I don’t even want to envision a situation where armed resistance is warranted. Obviously the 1st Amendment must be protected. Specifically, what happens if freedom of religion is infringed upon? I can envision the pastor of my church being jailed for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.
It’s not a stretch to say if Obama where given the power to eliminate the 2nd Amendment, he wouldn’t hesitate. A lot of politicians would eliminate it as well. However, it would be very hard to make a rational argument that guns should be banned.
First, the very issue of gun control and the efficacy of gun control laws is very hard to determine. Roughly 2/3 of all deaths by gun are suicides. I’m not a psychologist but if someone has tragically reached that level of despair, there are a ton of other ways to kill oneself without a gun.
Second, more people die in car accidents each year than die by gun. A car can also be used to commit a homicide. Do we need to ban cars? Third, despite the support Obama claims to have in regards to gun control, the statistics indicate otherwise. There were over 23 million background checks in 2015, a new record. Over 3 million of the checks occurred in December. This translates into a record year for gun sales. Fourth, from an economic perspective, guns constitute a $30+ billion industry (which doesn’t concern people such as Obama who could care less about capitalism). Finally, there are already 300 million guns in the United States. The only way to eliminate them would be for the federal government to order searches of every home, building, business, etc…
I seriously doubt that in 2015, 23 million would be murderers purchased guns with the sole intent of inflicting violence on someone else. The logical conclusion is we live in a country where guns are already prevalent. Further, those planning acts of violence are highly unlikely to worry about following proper procedures to obtain a gun. It’s absolutely laughable to imagine a person or persons planning a mass murder bothering to take the time to ensure all the paperwork pertaining to their firearms are in perfect order. The reality is that 23 million people realized that the best way to protect themselves, their families, and other innocent people from lunatic terrorists and murderers is to have a gun nearby to be used only in the event of a life-threatening situation.
The ultimate paradox of Obama’s town hall meeting on domestic gun control at a time when Iran is testing ballistic missiles is clear. He needs to answer just one very intriguing question: You support a treaty that allows for the possibility of Iran someday having nuclear weapons. If Iran were a citizen of the United States, would you be okay issuing them a gun permit?