The United States democracy has been upheld by the Constitution and within it the separation of powers. Those powers were created by the Framers to uphold the Constitution and to bring forth a more stable government then the one they revolted from. This trend of abusing these powers is the slipperiest of slopes and can lead to a nation where policy is only being created and implemented by the executive branch. Instead of the executive branch fulfilling its duties of just implementing the law, it now has been creating the laws through executive orders. If the pattern is not broken the United States could be one bad leader away from downfall.
Executive Orders have been used since the creation of the United States, the executive order was used as a way for the president to use their power to provide and pursue other loftier goals. Now, the President and Presidents before him have abused the power of the executive order to get their agenda through by bypassing the Legislature. A Democracy is defined by having certain checks on power and to ensure that one branch doesn’t rule all.
Attacking these checks and balances is a rocky road in which gives the opportunity to seize power into the hands of the greedy. By abusing the power of an executive order, a President can declare whatever he/she wishes, pulling out of a treaty? Done. Military action? Done. With these continued abuses, future presidents will do the same. We see this from each presidency going back as far as Franklin D. Roosevelt. From his presidency on, presidents Republican and Democrat have abused the executive power and president after president has stretched this privilege to its breaking point.
Which brings me to the 2020 U.S Presidential race. In the Democratic Primary a handful of candidates have campaigned on the notion that they will use the executive order to make sure their agenda will be implemented. Sen Bernie Sanders has been on record saying that he will use the executive order to push through his immigration policy, Sen Elizabeth Warren has been on record saying the same thing about her student debt relief policy . Moderates like Joe Biden, running on the platform of being a congress mediator hasn’t been vocally against his opponents about their promised use of the executive order which one can assume he doesn’t mind the current uses of the executive order. One of the most troubling is that Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been actively saying that she has 100 things she can do without congress with most of them being executive orders. On the other side of the aisle, President Trump has continued to use the executive order to issue sanctions on foreign powers and has created more executive departments all without congress’s approval. He is now on tract to surpass President Obama’s numbers on signed executive orders. Pres. Trump has even threatened more executive orders with the likes of getting out of NATO and continues to weaponize it when he is campaigning.
The problem is, the voters don’t seem to care, it’s the status quo and the thought of having a powerful executive leader is what they want. What we are facing is past presidents have been abusing these powers left and right and by continuing down this path can lead to one where the United States is one bad leader away from having a democracy in shambles. Both parties are at fault for selfishly using these powers and both sides are at fault for letting this to happened. Executive orders are not used for their purpose but for sole political gain and power, the Constitution was written to have checks on power so not one sole branch or individual has control, by campaigning and then implementing through these measures could lead to democratic end to the United States.