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Sadly, the vote to block Trump's 'emergency' means nothing. Democracy in America is on the verge of collapse

What will Republicans do when a far-left Democrat president uses the same powers as Trump to declare a national emergency about a real national emergency — say, global warming or healthcare provision?

Carli Pierson
Wednesday 27 February 2019 19:02 GMT
House of Representatives votes to block Trump's emergency declaration

America is at the edge of a deadly precipice from which it will be impossible to return.

While the democratic majority in the House of Representatives voted yesterday to block Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, it is highly unlikely that there will be enough support in the Senate to create a veto-proof majority. This means that Trump will get to use his very first veto to block Congress’s Resolution and continue with his fabricated national emergency. A fake emergency that numerous right-leaning media outlets and pundits are complicit in perpetrating.

So that’s it. Say goodbye to any notion of separation of powers — we are entering into an authoritarian era where our president blocks the press, rolls back human and civil rights laws, and flagrantly abuses his powers in spite of the will of the American people, who are largely against this wall.

America’s democracy was already shaky, with the out-of-date Electoral College, Super PAC spending in elections and the power of private interest lobbyists in government. But this declaration of a national emergency when there clearly isn’t one is Trump’s official checkmate on our democratic government. An immigration policy debate that should have been decided by the legislative branch has been taken over by the executive. But maybe the hardest part to digest is that it’s not just that this so-called national emergency is controversial – it’s fake!

There is no crisis at the border. There hasn’t been for a long time. That is not to say that the government doesn’t have a right to control irregular immigration: it obviously does. But government officials must do so within the limits of the constitution and federal law.

Senators who don’t vote to uphold the House Resolution will be going along with a massive lie perpetrated by a president who is under no less than 17 separate investigations for federal and state crimes. But history will remember this moment and it will not serve conservatives well when the same legislative power is usurped by a Democratic president— God forbid, a far left one—who declares a national emergency for a real national emergency. For example, global warming, abuse of migrant children in shelters, student loan debt, poverty, lack of access to affordable healthcare, predatory lending — and the list goes on.

Just imagine if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were elected president in 2024, announced a national emergency and declared a 90 per cent tax on the ultra-rich – over half of our Senate and the entire Fox news team (save for Shepard Smith) would flee the country!

Mark my word – the senators who don’t vote to approve the House Resolution will be on the wrong side of history. While during the Obama administration Republicans repeatedly complained about executive overreach, that doesn’t seem to mean anything when a real overreach comes from a far-right member of their own party.

Politics have become so lucrative that our Republican senators are more concerned about keeping their jobs than telling the truth, or providing that check and balance on the executive that is envisioned for them in Article I of the constitution. The day will soon come that they regret this.

Liberal America will not stand for the ruin of our land of the free and home of the brave. Our ancestors worked too hard, and sacrificed too much, to let that happen.

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Republicans should remember those words today.

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