It was the height of the arrogance of President Obama on display during the 2014 State Of The Union Address.To the thunderous applause of the members of his own party, the President indicated his willingness to violate the United States Constitution if it got his agenda accomplished.
President Obama began his speech by asserting many of the economic successes that his administration has enjoyed in the last five years. He then said that the momentum must continue and that he would do anything he could to keep it going with or without congressional legislation. Upon making that statement, many of the Democratic party stood up and began clapping and cheering while the Republican party for the most part remained seated.
The reality is that what Obama said was nothing for which anyone needed to be clapping. It did not deserve any cheering. It was, in fact, a most arrogant and dangerous statement. The very support of such a declaration made by President Obama in the 2014 State of the Union Address indicates nothing more than a complete arrogance of the officeholder and a strong disregard for the foundations on which this country was founded.
Our country was set up with a system of “checks and balances.” The three branches of government were put in place to make sure that no one person or entity could have total control of the nation. The founding fathers had seen the dangers of absolute rule. They wanted a government that was ruled by the will of the people through the democratic process. So they drafted the Constitution to put that exact system in place.
To override that whittles away at the very core of the principles and ideals of this great nation. If allowed to happen unchecked, it leads to one man being too powerful. That may be his goal, but it should not be the goal of the nation.
In the 90’s, actor Joe Pesci starred in an amazing movie called With Honors. In that movie, he plays a homeless man living on the campus of Harvard University. He befriends an aspiring young law student played by Brendan Fraser who invites him to attend a class lecture with him one day being given by a professor played by Gore Vidal. Vidal’s character begins to make fun of the United States Constitution. At one point, Pesci’s character cannot help but interrupt the lecture and defend the document. Vidal’s character had inquired as to the so called “genius” of the constitution.
Pesci replied that the Constitution makes no permanent rule but instead relies on a faith in ordinary citizens to have the wisdom to govern themselves. He refers to the founding fathers of the nation as great men and said that one thing all great men are aware of is that they do not have all knowledge. He said they knew they were going to make errors in their ideas and plans. For this reason, they left a plan for those mistakes to be corrected. He reminded the professor that the founding fathers did not want a government of leaders but of citizens who were not royalty. They wanted the country to be governed by those who were listeners and not those who would lecture. They wanted a government that would be constantly moving forward. He then reminded Vidal and all those listening that the President was not an elected monarch regardless of how many bombs he can have dropped on other countries because the Constitution does not allow it. The President, he said, is simply a servant of the citizens of the United States.
In the days ahead, Congress may need to take action to help our current Chief Executive realize the dangers of his thinking. May the arrogance of President Obama that was put on full display for anyone watching the broadcast of the 2014 State of the Union Address serve as a wake up call to the lawmakers who can hold him accountable.
By Rick Hope