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Hoping we can believe our civics lessons

SUSAN K. SMITH | 12/5/2017, 8:51 p.m.
While some Americans are trying to ignore the winds of confusion and angst being brought about by the antics, policies ...

Crazy Faith Ministries

While some Americans are trying to ignore the winds of confusion and angst being brought about by the antics, policies and language of the current administration in Washington, DC., some are hoping that the lessons learned in civics classes about the power and safety in a government that has three branches which serve as checks and balances on each other are true.

What is happening before our very eyes is scary. This president and his

administration seem to be systematically chipping away at the very foundation of democracy. It is bad enough that the GOP has control of all three branches of government, but what is worse is that the executive branch is trying as hard as it can to have absolute control over everything, every department and every decision made, and the Congress seems unable to do anything about it.

I must have gotten it wrong; I thought, from what I learned, that if any branch of government was trying to seize too much power, one or the other – or both – the other branches would rein that branch in.

But this Congress seems to be wringing its hands. Thank goodness some of the federal courts have blocked some of the president’s antics and attempts to oppress other groups of people, but the Congress has been woefully impotent and incompetent.

In its desire to get some of the most abrasive and oppressive policies passes, the Congress has reneged on its pledge to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, just as the president has. It has confirmed people for cabinet positions whose records show serious issues. Brett Talley, 36-years old, who was nominated by this administration for a federal judgeship, has never tried a case, yet the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination.

Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary, has spent much of his life fighting the agency he is leading.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s bank allegedly wrongfully sought payments from a federally insured reverse mortgage program. His bank foreclosed on a reported 36,000 homeowners. But now Mnuchin, again confirmed by the Senate, is putting together a budget that works against the masses of people who need some of the very services he wants to eliminate, many of whom are Trump voters. Said Mnuchin, “We can’t have the federal government subsidizing the states,” and he is gung-ho on a tax plan that will increase the federal budget by $1.7 trillion.

The president himself has tried his best to constrain journalists, charging “fake news” for every story about him and his administration that he does not like.

In civics class, we were taught that the three branches of government would protect this country from tyranny – and we believed it. Because the framers of the U.S. Constitution had experienced autocracy, and had not liked it, they saw it necessary to make a government that would be foolproof to fall into such a state.

But something has happened, and it is as intricate and difficult to understand as it is to analyze it. Our lawmakers are sycophants without backbones; they are so desirous of putting forward a conservative agenda that they seem willing to let the country they pledged to serve descend into fascism. They have allowed and are allowing themselves to be bullied and threatened by a president who lies at will, and they discard any loyalty they had to America’s democracy.