I’ve got a pen and I’ve Got a Phone
EOs – not to be confused with Eos, the supernaturally beautiful goddess of Greek mythology – have become an ugly fact of American life ever since our conflagration known as the Civil War.
An Executive Order is an unconstitutional decree made by a president that has the same force and effect as the laws that are constitutionally passed by Congress and signed by the president.
In a representative democracy, laws are made by duly elected representatives who form the legislative part of government (in the US, it is our Congress).
In fascist states, laws are made by a head of state (a president or prime minister) with mere arbitrary edicts, that carry little or no legislative debate or samplings of public opinion. EOs are the hallmarks of fascistic governments; they are dictated into law and become known as “rule by men,” rather than the democratic “rule by law.”
When establishing our US Constitutional Republic, our founding fathers instituted the strict principle of government known as the Rule of Law.
This standard was intended to be a strong safeguard against arbitrary governance and unconstitutional edicts imposed by would-be tyrants.
An Executive Order is an illegal but binding Presidential decree imposed by the might of the state on the American people. EOs are issued by one man – our president – as if he were a king or dictator.
EOs have no place in a democracy.
When a president tries to effect one of his Executive Orders into law, he is attempting to circumvent Congress, contravene our American Constitution, and move us closer to being a country ruled by self-serving men rather than a nation ruled by legislated laws that are hopefully with the consent of the governed.
This whole unconstitutional seizure of congressional power has been done slowly, over time, incrementally. But, if we study our yesterdays, perhaps, we will be better prepared to improve our tomorrows.
Executive Orders began innocuously enough as mere directive-type memos to the various offices of the Executive Branch of our federal government.
George Washington was the first to set the dangerous precedent of issuing orders that had the full force and effect of legislative law. His first Executive Order prevented Americans from trading with or even associating with any of the countries in Europe, who were then at war with each other.
It was not that President Washington’s order was a bad idea in and of itself. But it was, however, patently illegal for him to single-handedly make a law (any law) when he had absolutely no legal authority to do so, either in the Constitution, or in any statute law passed by Congress.
Passing legislation was meant to be the duty of Congress; signing (or vetoing) and then enforcing laws is the job of the president.
George Washington took the law into his own hands and violated our most honored principle of the Rule of Law, the very basis of a constitutional republican form of government.
Allowing presidents to create laws when per the Constitution they can only enforce them, is akin to letting our chiefs of police create laws whenever they choose to do so.
To allow our president such powers begins the destruction of our separation of powers, another fundamental in our Constitutional Republic.
Freedom and living by the Rules of Law have been rare commodities during the long and tumultuous history of Earth. Has America enjoyed the longest run of any nation to have been so ruled? Perhaps.
But since President Washington’s term of office, our Constitution has been breached in thousands of ways until at last we have become a nation ruled by the law of men – very elite and secret men, who have long controlled the Office of the Presidency.
Very few EOs were issued by the fourteen presidents who followed Washington.
It was Lincoln’s “dictatorship” that began the onslaught of laws issued by one man but covertly supported by the hidden men of the International Monetary/Banking Cartel, who wanted to reduce the growing affluence and influence of the United States with a self-defeating civil war. Sadly, Mr. Lincoln fell into the Cartel’s trap.
Yes, the Great Emancipator controlled the Union like a dictator, exercising autocratic rule by claiming war powers that were not his to claim after the April 12, 1861, attack on Fort Sumter by the South Carolina militia.
Then, Mr. Lincoln ran “his” government through his Executive Orders, utterly by-passing the US Congress.
Without Ole Abe there might not have been a war that denuded America of over one million of its finest men, when the entire population of the United States was not much more than thirty million people.
Lincoln’s motivation in prosecuting the Civil War was not to free the slaves, but to keep the Union intact. But he could have done so without waging war against a portion of the nation he had been elected to serve.
Had Mr. Lincoln been far wiser, he might have used his great personal intention and courage to begin eliminating the main reason for the well-founded Southern discontent: the US Tariff of 1828, called the Tariff of Abominations by the antebellum South.
It was this piece of trade protectionism of 1828 which so discriminated against the South, that did more than anything else to bring on the Southern attack at Fort Sumter.
Instead of using a multitude of EOs to start and pursue a devastating war, President Lincoln could have used one simple EO to save the Union: by abolishing the Tariff Act of 1828.
In fact, even the great American economist Murray Rothbard said, “True free US trade, without the [Banking Cartel’s] imposed Tariff Act of 1828, might have prevented the American Civil War.”
And in time, Lincoln could have worked to convince Congress to pass legislation that subsidized Southern plantation owners for their slaves – thus eliminating slavery – at far less cost to treasure, infrastructure, and American lives than what it eventually cost us for his totally avoidable war against eleven American states.
But Lincoln chose a different path – a war path – and made many enemies in the process. His self-made adversaries ranged from newspaper editors to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as he repeatedly broke the fundamental law of our land with his Executive Orders.
Lincoln even had editors arrested, and went so far as to actually draft a warrant for the arrest of Chief Justice Roger Taney.
Abraham Lincoln’s war destroyed most of our delicate balance of federalism between the American central government and the sovereignty of our states, thus even further removing government from the individual US citizen.
Nevertheless, we have had presidents of great integrity, and I believe Lincoln to have been such a president, in spite of the huge mistakes he made. Had he lived, he would have healed our nation’s wounds far more quickly than they were ever set to rights.
Remember, it was Lincoln, like President Andrew Jackson, who dared to oppose the International Monetary/Banking Cartel.
Lincoln and his Treasury Secretary, Salmon Portland Chase, were both outraged by what they estimated the Banking Cartel would have charged American citizens in interest on loans to pursue the Civil War.
As a result, Lincoln by-passed the Banking Cartel by convincing Congress to enact legislation authorizing the printing of dollars which carried the full legal tender of US Treasury notes – notes that came to be called Lincoln’s “greenbacks.”
The Monetary/Banking Cartel, based in London, was not at all pleased with Lincoln’s greenbacks, and said so in their Rothschild family flagship newspaper of that era, the London Times:
“If this mischievous financial policy should become endurated down to a fixture, then that government [Lincoln’s administration] will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debts. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It [America] will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”
Destroy every monarchy? Hardly! But, Lincoln could have likely severely damaged the dark nemesis of Western Europe and the rest of the world had he lived.
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, however, Abraham Lincoln’s administration ended prematurely when the president was fatally shot in the Ford Theatre while he and his wife were watching the British play “Our American Cousin.”
Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man, but still history must judge him harshly; his Civil War and its attendant Executive Orders cost humanity far more than his greenbacks gained us.
Ever since his administration, Lincoln has been both the model and excuse for almost all other presidents to make up their own laws, to the point that such gross violations of our Constitution are now widely and routinely accepted.
Our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, widely considered one of our greatest presidents (who is even enshrined on Mt. Rushmore, as was Lincoln), used the White House as his “bully pulpit,” and from there issued more EOs than all 25 presidents (other than Lincoln) who preceded him.
Teddy Roosevelt even formed a national police force, an idea that had always been rejected by American congresses, and was deeply abhorred by our nation’s founding fathers, and the public as well.
By Teddy calling his national police force a mere “investigative bureau” of his Executive Branch of government, Roosevelt was able to avoid wide public resistance. In those days, Americans were wisely antipathetic to national police forces; today, however, there is scarcely a citizen who would suggest we do away with Roosevelt’s FBI, or even curb their bestial practices.
William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, who followed Roosevelt as presidents, were no better than Teddy in obeying our Constitution.
Democratic President Wilson even imprisoned some 5,000 Americans who opposed his World War I, the war he had promised to avoid if he were elected president.
It was Wilson who was the first to declare “National Emergencies,” in order to assume even more powers not granted to the Executive Branch, by either our Congress or our Constitution.
Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt (distant cousin to Teddy Roosevelt), our 32nd president, was presented by his “advisors” with a clever way for presidents to assume even more dictatorial powers: the mere labeling of domestic problems as “wars.” In this way, future presidents could cite the unconstitutional presidential war powers, brought into existence by Lincoln, in their pretended wars on CO2, drugs, poverty, or any other irrational excuse to expand presidential powers.
In only one term of office, President Jimmy Carter had the nerve to add about 24,500 pages of Executive Orders during his last 90 days in office, in addition to all his other EOs.
Not to be outdone, Democratic President Bill Clinton added another 30,000 pages of EOs during his last 90 days in office.
The Federal Register and the Cato Institute give us the number of Executive Orders (not the number of pages) issued by twentieth-century presidents:
Theodore Roosevelt – 1,006; William H. Taft – 698; Woodrow Wilson – 1,791; Warren G. Harding – 484; Calvin Coolidge – 1,253; Herbert Hoover – 1004; Franklin D. Roosevelt – 3,723; Harry S. Truman – 905; Dwight D. Eisenhower – 452; John F. Kennedy – 214; Lyndon B. Johnson – 324; Richard M. Nixon – 346; Gerald R. Ford – 169; Jimmy Carter – 320; Ronald Reagan – 381; George Bush – 166, Bill Clinton 364; George Bush II – 291, and the numbers of EOs signed by presidents continue from there.
If strictly enforced, the sum total of all the above Executive Orders carry the potential of throwing our nation into gridlock and destroying individual initiatives – a nation wherein only the long entrenched power structure is free to operate.
But there are also Presidential Directives, a form of EO, issued by presidents with the advice and consent of the unelected National Security Council.
These Directives have the full force and effect of constitutionally passed laws.
But the real kicker is these Presidential Directives are classified, using the old “national security” ruse. This is how America, now, officially tortures human beings in military bases all over the world. This is torture done in the name of every American, without most of us ever knowing about these heinous practices that are better left to the Spanish Inquisition of the Dark Ages.
The Neo-cons of yesteryear and the Neo-libs of today, who carry dual citizenships (Israel and US), push for even more torture, destruction, and death of human life in the Middle East from their shadowy positions in “our” US presidential administrations as National Security Council advisors.
It was in Woodrow Wilson’s term of office that such inhuman creatures gained a huge foothold and brought us the horrors of the Federal Reserve Act, income taxes, and World War I.
Additionally, back in 1916, Democratic President Wilson began creating many of our federal agencies by the use of EOs – each of which has ballooned to about the size of a large foreign government, each of which is headed by un-elected directors, who issue their own thousands of orders and directives, which have the full force and effect of constitutionally passed laws.
One such agency, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a tax code that is over 60,000 pages long, and growing.
Moreover, Americans today are burdened with thousands of pages of Presidential Review Directives (PRDS), Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs), National Security Reviews (NSRs), National Security Directives (NSDs), National Security Presidential Directives (NSPDs), and even Homeland Security Directives, all having the full force and effect of law, and all in addition to EOs.
In order to maintain the thin illusion of a democracy, Americans are still allowed a presidential election every four years; and no one president can serve more than two four-year terms.
It is not, however, any one president who has become a dictator; it is the huge and growing Office of the Presidency and those faceless autocrats who chose and control presidents that have become so dictatorial – without many of us ever knowing it.
Our downward slide into ever deeper tyranny has continued with President Barack Obama’s 166 Executive Orders and his bold threat of issuing many more: “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” said the president.
How can Americans best describe their government today? Corrupt? Insufferable? Insane? All true. We are not a democracy, much less a Constitutional Republic.
Our beloved United States of America has, at last, become a fascist dictatorship, along the lines of a mere banana republic and will remain so until the majority of Americans wake up, smell the stench of fascism, and object to it.