With a string of Super Tuesday victories and a nearly insurmountable delegate lead, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president, putting him even closer to holding the highest office in the land and being the leader of the free world.
If you’re like me, this is terrifying. If you’re not like me, it’s probably also terrifying.
More terrifying than that, however, is the popularity of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for big government on the other side of the aisle in concert with Trump’s bid for presidency. Trump’s success should be the greatest argument against growing the government the way Sanders wants to.
With the power that the office of the presidency currently has, Donald Trump can wreak havoc on this nation. By executive order, a President Trump can do the following:
- Build a wall on the border between the US and Mexico
- Create a registry of muslims
- Put a hold on muslim immigration into the USA
These are tremendous acts, exercising powers that The Constitution vests in the congress. Yet with the imperial presidencies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the executive order, which wasn’t even formalized until 1905, has gained tremendous authority and scope, leaving us with the weakest congress in our nation’s history and giving the executive branch power to take these bold, unprecedented steps.
Yet while Trump’s campaign of hate rages on, we have almost his exact opposite, Bernie Sanders, gaining momentum on the other side of the aisle. I admire Senator Sanders. I think he’s honest, straightforward, genuine and well-intentioned. Yet I’m terrified of his candidacy. Bernie wants to:
- Give the government control of healthcare
- Raise taxes by $13.6 trillion over 10 years
- Give the government even more control of the nation’s financial system
Senator Sanders wants to expand the government’s already pervasive reach. A Sanders government would have unprecedented control over the economy. The government would gain control of 18% of the economy just by taking over healthcare, let alone what it would gain by continuing to raise taxes and further regulating more of the institutions we come into daily contact with.
Now imagine these two presidencies, Sanders and Trump, in succession. The government controls your healthcare, your college education and the bank where you have your mortgage and your car loan. All of a sudden President Trump takes over the executive branch. He decides college can be free still, but not for Mexicans. Hospitals are crowded? Blame the muslims. They’re the ones bombing us, why should we be paying their medical bills? Forget about trying to get a mortgage if you’re black. Or gay. Or if you’re a loser.
Unfortunately, I can see a President Trump believing, saying and doing all of these things. Maybe they seem a little far fetched now, but Trump is at best a wild card and at worst a dangerous, sociopathic, white supremacist. Perhaps the court system can defend us from Trump, but what if he tries, as FDR tried, to pack the Supreme Court? What if he succeeds?
As the executive branch stands now, an imperialistic president has unprecedented power – power that should not be vested in one person. We are just one bad president away from undoing generations of progress on civil rights, our increasingly fragile race relations, marriage equality and voting rights. With the current power of the executive, Donald Trump could be that one bad president.
The solution to this problem unfortunately cannot be to simply trust the electorate to make positive, informed decisions 100% of the time. Some of the world’s most harmful leaders rose to power democratically. The solution to human fallibility in the electorate is to have a government that is limited, even crippled, by checks and balances – a government so small and weak, that a President Trump simply couldn’t wreak havoc on the country as he could if he were to become president today, or heaven forbid after a Sanders Presidency.
We should stand up for checks and balances, encourage congress to remember that they, not the executive, are responsible for creating the laws. We should pay more attention to congressional elections, entertain third party options and reward politicians who stick up for separation of powers. We should not support a presidential candidate that wishes to increase the government’s already pervasive reach.
Bernie Sanders wants to take us away from a limited government into a future where Washington doesn’t just have a say in important decisions that will shape your future, but actually controls those decisions. This is an incredibly dangerous ideology which should not be supported. That power in the hands of someone like Trump can and will be abused. A government big enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have. In the hands of a President Trump, it might do just that.