A Nation of Laws, Not Regulations—Or Regulators

By | 2018-06-14T00:15:01+00:00 June 14th, 2018|
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For several months, the American people have been inundated with a total media freakout about the Trump Administration’s consistent violation of sacrosanct “processes.” Whether it be President Trump’s endless tweets; his unwillingness fully to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; or Trump’s recent spate of pardons, “experts” continue arguing that Trump’s behavior is a threat to democracy.

But these defenders of “the system” are wrong about Trump. Rather than being the destroyer of our hallowed institutions, Trump’s behavior is reinvigorating them. And, as the duly elected president of the United States, Trump’s actions are entirely constitutional.

Firing Offenses

The president fired former FBI Director James Comey last year which precipitated the current, idiotic special counsel investigation that is dogging the Trump Administration. However, the last time I checked Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution explicitly outlines the president’s ability to fire employees.

According to analysis from the Constitution Center:

As chief executive, the president runs the different executive agencies, such as the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Ah, but the mendacious lawyers, greedy lobbyists, haughty professors, and sniveling bureaucrats who populate Washington, D.C. argue differently. After all, there is a process for going about these things, they say! Understand that, fundamentally, the so-called “deep state”—the nexus of big government bureaucracy, elected “leaders,” special interests and their cheerleaders in the corporate-owned mainstream media and in academia—is arguing that bureaucratic machinations do and should trump the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, we are a nation of laws. However, we are not a nation of regulations—or, more precisely, unelected regulators. Winston Churchill once ruefully remarked, “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.” No procedure or regulation can (or should) be allowed to supersede the Constitution. Like it or not, it doesn’t really matter what James Comey thinks (or what the Left believes). Fact is, the president can fire anyone he desires, according to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.

The Administrative State
What we are witnessing is Trump going after the administrative state that has been growing like a weed in our republic’s garden since Woodrow Wilson’s day. At that time, the Progressive inclination toward “expertise” was the great fad among America’s political elite. From there, as the government exploded in scope and size under Franklin D. Roosevelt (and every other modern president, both Republican and Democratic), the worship of the “experts” combined with an obsessive urge for “process.”

Recently, Michael Eric Dyson spoke with Bill Maher. During their interview, Dyson reiterated that which so many on the Left have been kvetching about: Trump’s pardons. Trump has violated the “process” that his predecessors put in place at the Department of Justice. These procedures are supposed to help a president determine whether an inmate deserves a pardon or not. Unfortunately, what few acknowledge is that the president’s ability to issue pardons is virtually limitless. In fact, the president’s ability to pardon an American is limited only politically—that is, only by the potential for the president to be impeached.

Trump is eviscerating the Administrative State, rendering the entirety of the Washington, D.C. leviathan useless as he goes. Critics like Dyson acknowledge the president’s near unlimited pardon power. But these same critics say the president’s actions circumventing the so-called “Deep State” do nothing to address the systemic flaws within the institutions and procedures that lead to incarceration in the first place. Apart from the fact that unilaterally reforming incarceration law is beyond the scope of the president’s powers, Trump’s decision to sidestep the ridiculous layers of bureaucracy meant to diminish his actual executive powers, in favor of one-on-one lobbying from personal representatives of those seeking a pardon, is much better.

The system has become so corrupted and bureaucratized that it has become unfeeling and even somewhat tyrannical. Dyson and other activists are not wrong to worry about injustice in sentencing. Yet it is puzzling how such activists imagine that Trump’s actions are directed at “destroying” our democratic institutions or at ignoring the “systemic” failures of those institutions. Instead, Trump’s actions are an attempt to revitalize our democratic institutions and remove power from the arbitrary and corrupting forces that currently have laid siege to them.

By end-running “the system” and focusing on the humanity of those like Alice Marie Johnson, the great-grandmother who was sentenced to life in prison for a non-violent drug crime, Trump is signaling that the inhumanity of the so-called “justice” system (and the inhumanity created by the blind worship of bureaucratic machinations) should not be tolerated under his presidency. And he is encouraging political action to stop it, rather than circumventing politics to establish another new (and temporary) dictate.

Purging the System
And as far as that goes, Trump’s complete humiliation of the proliferators of the Russian “collusion” scandal is aimed at protecting our democracy as well. He was duly elected by a majority of American voters, according to the Electoral College. Yet, the Left has opted to use its unelected power in the “deep state” not only to undermine the will of the American voters but also to destroy the very institution of the presidency itself.

Face it, Trump was elected to engage in a little creative-destruction when it comes to our democratic institutions. He’s going to light a restorative back fire and then salt the earth so that the overgrown sections of the government can never return.

This will be Trump’s greatest legacy.

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About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs "The Weichert Report" (www.theweichertreport.com), an online journal of geopolitics. He holds master's degree in statecraft and national security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an associate member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in political science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.