Sunday, February 21, 2021

Government needs your compliance

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 20, 2021)

No matter how you feel about them, U.S. presidents are both too powerful and figureheads without any real power. It seems contradictory, but it's true.

A president has the power to sign unconstitutional legislation and impose unconstitutional executive orders-- such as Trump's ban on bump stocks-- but unless he does what those with the real power want him to do, he loses the power to do anything.

This defeats the point of gaining the office. So presidents usually play the game.

A president who can do anything to us has too much power over our lives, but everything he does is dictated by others. By who? In spite of what you might believe, it's not the voters. Voters have little power to control the president. That power lies with other people and institutions.

First, there are entrenched federal operatives-- what some refer to as "The Deep State". Yes, it's real. These are the people embedded in government throughout decades of changing administrations. They know how to play the system to get what they want. What they want is more power for themselves and their agencies. They are behind the Pentagon and the security and "intelligence" agencies, but some are ordinary government functionaries with connections.

The legacy political parties-- Democratic and Republican-- are part of this, too. The party bosses are able to help or harm a president of their own party, depending on how well he serves their agenda.

Then, the national mainstream media also has power to influence most presidents. This was never more obvious than when it didn't work quite the way they were used to during the Trump presidency. It's why they had to pull out all the stops to take him down.

It's probably too late to scale back the power of the presidency, or the power various unaccountable agents hold over the presidency. I'd like to see someone try, though.

You can still choose how much power over your life presidents and those who pull the presidents' strings have. They need your compliance. Without it, they are mostly powerless. Sure, they can throw dangerous political tantrums, but that's more a sign of their weakness-- physical and ethical-- than anything. Do your best to stay out of their way as they thrash around in frustration and you'll still be standing after they've self-destructed.

The real power can be yours if you choose to use it.


Don't forget to buy a Time's Up flag while they are available!

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