Opinion

Abuse of executive power should not be tolerated by either side

During President Obama’s tenure, many leftists urged his administration to act unilaterally through executive action to sidestep Republican “obstructionists” in Congress. In many instances, President Obama did take such action and, in doing so, he expanded the already bloated executive power he had inherited from his predecessor George W. Bush. Now that Donald Trump is president, leftists realize their disastrous mistake. President Obama left a loaded gun in the Oval Office and President Trump has already started firing away.

President Trump has put his inherited power to use within the first days of administration. The new president issued an order that will hamstring the Affordable Care Act. According to the New York Times, the order “gave federal agencies wide latitude to change, delay or waive provisions of the law that they deemed overly costly … essentially allowing the dismantling of the law to begin even before Congress moves to repeal it.” While I support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, I cannot defend presidential action that is indistinguishable from legislation – a power that rightfully belongs to the Congress.

It is time for both the left and the right to “put the shoe on the other foot.” If leftists could not imagine the shoe on the other foot during the Obama years, they now have the unfortunate pleasure of watching President Trump wield his inherited power. This ought to convince leftists to reconsider their positions on government power, in general, and on executive power, in particular.

On the other hand, conservatives should not condone gross abuse of executive power. Many on the right have been sounding the alarm on executive power for the last eight years. Now that Republicans control the executive branch, conservatives are tempted to disregard principle in order to forward their agenda. Again, imagine the shoe on the other foot – how would they feel if President Obama or Hillary Clinton misused executive power to create leftist policies?

It has become fashionable to place party loyalty over loyalty to principles. While the left and the right fundamentally disagree on many principles, it ought to be indisputable that the expansion of executive power is unacceptable. A perpetual cycle of expansion of executive power by incoming presidential administrations is unsustainable. It leaves every policy achievement utterly meaningless, as the pen of one official can undo it a few short years later.

Congress must reclaim the powers it has abdicated. The Constitution establishes a republic. Extraordinary power concentrated within one leader – or in the hands of the faceless bureaucrats he controls – is anti-republican. If the leakage of Congressional power to the executive branch continues, then elections will continue to be extraordinarily volatile and the stakes will remain dangerously high.

Zach Gluckow is a freshman majoring in philosophy and political science.

January 25, 2017

Reporters

Zach Gluckow


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Not only are the Hurricanes in the mix for at least five high-end running backs for the 2019 class, ...

After assembling one of the nation’s best groups of skill position players in the 2018 recruiting cl ...

Coach Kool, AKA Craig Kuligowski, is gone from the University of Miami, which is entirely uncool wit ...

He is considered among the finest defensive line coaches in the nation. And now, according to a writ ...

This is the time of year when every win or loss can make a difference in a team’s NCAA Tournament ch ...

The popular Christian minister preached to more people than any other evangelist in history. ...

A vigil on the University of Miami campus, organized by UM students who graduated from Marjory Stone ...

The latest speaker in the popular lecture series at the Rosenstiel School, Jeff Goodell, shared insi ...

At the University of Miami, the professor has the last word on whether students can use their laptop ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Former Hurricane guard signs 10-day contract with Indiana Pacers. ...

For the second straight game, Miami's starting pitcher looked in dominant form through the firs ...

The University of Miami track and field team will compete against fellow conference members at the 2 ...

After capturing its opening series with Rutgers, No. 24 Miami continues a season-opening, seven-game ...

The latest edition of Quick Hits introduces middle blocker Bridget Wallenberger ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.