There is certainly no limit to the tyranny of an Executive who has both the ambition and opportunity. There is certainly enough to show how a once freer America has been subdued. This has come primarily through three key Executive powers in this country: the Treaty-making power, the abuse of executive orders, and the ascendancy of government-by-emergency.
In light of all these Executive excesses, what can be done to restore the freedom Americans once had? Even better, how can we return to a society even more free than before—something more akin to biblical controls on Executive tyranny? The answer is two-faceted: first, things average people can do now, and second, larger goals toward which we must aim.
Lord Acton is credited with the famous saying, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A corollary to this is to say the closer you get to absolute power, the more the potentials and temptations of corruption increase as well. Solutions to the various problems of society appear more within reach when viewed through the scope of a comprehensively armed and funded coercive apparatus. Thus, the larger and more centralized the Executive institution becomes, the more tempting it becomes to bypass clumsy Congress and a lumbering Judiciary and instead administer as extensively as possible via Executive decree alone. And as soon as the Executive tastes the efficiency of government by decree, like sharks with blood, it goes crazy for more.
Hermeneutics, the science and skill of interpretation, is most often applied to the Bible. But hermeneutics can be applied to any written document. For example, the Constitution is a piece of literature that requires interpretive skill to determine its meaning. I was reminded of this when I read a letter to the editor that appeared […]