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Editorial & Opinion

Jan. 31 - EDITORIAL: The President's Failure to Respect Representative Government

EDITORIAL

January 31, 2017 – No one argues that a President of the United States has the power to do many things.

The question is how that power is used, and whether it is necessary to use that power, versus working through the legislative and judicial processes envisioned by our forefathers.

President Trump has usurped the power of Congress in his first week, including showing a complete lack of respect for the Federal budgetary priorities and programs approved by Congress after study, debate and consideration - votes that reflect the citizens they serve.

To say that the President’s executive order,“Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” was poorly executed last week, is to state the obvious. But, beyond being clumsy, crass and the workings of a braggadocious mind, what the President did was ignore the legal decisions handled down by a host of Federal Courts, and to fail to consult with Congress.

Because, THAT is our system of government.

He also insulted the work of a long list of professionals in the immigration and homeland security fields that have had a remarkable record of keeping our country safe.

Through this executive order, and many others last week, the President has stolen away our ability as voters to document the views, positions and votes of those in Congress who represent us.

Every two years, we have an opportunity to use that representative government by voting on whether or not to send back Congressman Buddy Carter, for example. He is our most direct form of representation in Washington. But, we cannot judge him without a documented legislative record.  

Congressman Carter didn’t even comment on any of the President’s long list of executive orders last week, except for one: on January 24, when he released a press statement in support of Trump’s “Mexico City Policy” which prohibits taxpayer funds to non-governmental organizations in foreign countries that provide or promote abortions.

He wrote, "President Trump has wasted no time joining us in the fight to ensure American taxpayers are never responsible to foot the bill for ending a precious life before it begins. While it's unacceptable to use taxpayer funds for abortions in the United States, it is absolutely senseless to allow taxpayer dollars to be used on abortions abroad.”

He certainly has a right to his religious views, but unfortunately, research shows that the majority of the 1st Congressional District does not agree with him, and is pro-choice, as is Georgia and the United States.  Certainly, that issue is not a top concern in the 1st District.  

As a declared fiscal conservative, our Congressman made no statement last week about President Trump's wall, or how it was to be paid for, nor did he choose to speak about President Trump’s decision that many believe will severely impact the United States’ standing in the world - selecting seven Arab counties, none of which have been the home of any domestic terrorist, and then banning entry from a myriad of citizens, academics and business professionals.   

Yes, the President states that his order on the ban to entry is designed to protect the United States and its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States, which is exactly what U.S.’s intelligence, law enforcement and security agencies work hard at every day, with highly successful results. 

As we all know, most of our violence in the U.S. is home-grown, by disenfranchised people, many of whom have mental health problems.  Our Congressman does not have a strong track record in supporting funding for expanding THOSE services …the mental health needs of those most likely to seek to gun us down in a movie theater or mall.

Yes, the President’s order directs the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to determine what information is needed from any country … to decide whether one of its nationals who is seeking admission to the United States is who he claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.  But, does anyone REALLY believe that that has not been going on?  It’s invented, artificial, political lingo-ism.

As a business publication, we support a hard look at U.S. trade policy as proposed by President Trump, and were not fans of the TPP; we do not disagree with all of President Trump's positions.  What’s that cliché? ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.’  But, we certainly did not expect that his campaign priorities were to be executed in this manner, ignoring those that represent us or who serve professionally in government.

He cannot fire every Federal judge that will rule against him in the future, though we fear that he and his Justice Dept. under Sen. Jeff Sessions will undoubtedly try.  We hope that there is not an effort to intimidate and influence those that sit on the Federal bench.  

In summary, we object to his efforts to usurp the powers of Congress, an imperfect process at time. But, Congress is where legislation is written or altered as needed if the facts warrant changes,  including making changes to the previously approved Federal budget.

Because, if Congress is not getting the job done – or failing to tell us their positions on critical issues – it is up to us to change who represents us ... and who has the power to insure that President Trump respects them and their role in our governance.

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