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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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How Much Power Should a President Have?

Recently it has been reported that Barack Obama has indicated that if elected President he will immediately investigate all executive orders issued by George W. Bush and reverse any that may infringe on civil liberties of Americans. This stand begs the question of how much power the Executive Branch should really have over the operations of our government. Should the power extend beyond the President’s term? How much authority should the Commander in Chief actually have to circumvent the will of Congress and the people?

By most accounts George W. Bush has issued more executive orders and signing statements than all of his predecessors combined. Many would call this an abuse of the executive powers afforded to him by the Constitution. Others might call it take charge leadership and clarity of purpose on the part of the President. So how can we tell if our leaders are using the power they have appropriately? How do we know when they have crossed a constitutional line? Sadly in many cases we don’t have a means to determine the scope of our leaders actions because they become labeled as “classified information” or “executive privilege” or the ever favored “national security issue”. The only recourse we have is to elect new leaders and call on them to amend the Constitution to more clearly define the role of the chief executive and set boundaries for conduct that are more easily actionable than the current process allows.

Another question we must ask when discussing this issue is whether the actions a president takes should be subject to review by the Congress and the people of America? While some might accept it as a given that the President must be held accountable by Congress and the courts others could argue that the role of being the leader of the nation requires powers that are known only to a few in order to take care of the unsavory issues that often challenge the leaders of any nation. So which is it? Do we keep the status quo and assume no news is good news or do we challenge everything to make sure that our leaders don’t abuse their power?

The answer lies in the ideals set forth in the Constitution given to us by the founding fathers of America. The original leaders of our nation knew that if all branches had some sort of check on each other they would keep the others from taking unfair advantage of the system. The only problem that they did not foresee was the dominance of a single party over all three branches of our government leading to abuses of power. Since they were new at the whole democracy thing there was no real model for them to follow overall and the ramifications of certain decisions that they made would not be known fully for decades or centuries afterward. The three branches of our government were given different powers over each other to allow for one branch to stop another from violating the rules or spirit of the Constitution. If we allow one branch to become too powerful it undermines the intentions of the founding fathers of forming a government that was tyrant proof. Separation of powers is important but also there must be accountability.

If a President violates the law or the intent of the Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court need to be there to put a stop to it before it gets out of control. Some have called impeachment of George W. Bush pointless and nothing but politics but if he violated the laws of the land it is not only right for him to be held accountable it is the duty of Congress to make sure that he is held accountable. Executive privilege should not extend to matters of possible criminal action and if you read the Constitution it is clear that the founding fathers never intended for any President to be above the law.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

What Should Be Done With Radovan Karadzic?

The butcher of Srebrenica was finally apprehended after years of eluding international authorities trying to take him into custody for war crimes committed during the Bosnian Conflict of the 1990’s. He had been hiding out for years in plain sight with an altered appearance and mundane life that did not attract too much attention. Now that he has been caught it must be decided what should be done with him.

The slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys he ordered in 1995 would be enough in and of itself to justify his execution but unfortunately it is but one item of a list of atrocities that Karadzic ordered while he led the Serbian people. In some respects he is fortunate to be going to trial under European dominated international courts because he will not face execution like he would if he were tried in America. So the question for the Europeans trying him will have to be; “What can you do with a monster if you can’t kill him?”

There are many options for punishment in the various criminal justice systems of Europe but which is the most suitable for a mass murderer and sociopath dictator? If he were tried under old Soviet laws they could send him to a gulag and let him spend the rest of his life regretting the day of his birth but they are more “civilized” now and don’t condone sending monsters to their deaths. Perhaps they could send him to the famed Devil’s Island and force him to live out his days fighting to survive. It’s not a complete opposite from a gulag but it would give him more of a fighting chance than he gave his victims.

If it were left to me I would suggest a slow execution or possibly killing and reviving him once for every victim he put in the ground until you got to the final victim and then just don’t revive him. Unfortunately that would be too much like justice for the Europeans to handle and they would scream that it was being cruel to the poor mass murderer. The difference between what should be done to Karadzic and what will be done will likely be like night and day. Sensible people know that monsters need to be cut out of our society with no chance of coming back but it seems that the international courts are well stocked with liberals and will likely give the man who killed untold numbers of innocent victims some sort of rehabilitation program to overcome his “dominance issues”.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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