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Donald Trump Exemplifies the Case for Executive Restraint

Liberals Can Only Blame Themselves for Potential Trump Abuses

by Brett Linley

For better or for worse, this election serves as a big “we told you so” to the liberal elites. For eight long years, conservatives and libertarians railed against the executive abuses of President Obama. Now, for at least four years, liberals must reap what they sowed.

When liberals wanted strict gun laws, they had no qualms calling for intense executive action. President Obama seemed like a “good guy,” so there obviously couldn’t be any negative consequences. With President-elect Trump, however, they probably wouldn’t mind a safeguard against tyranny. Too bad they already ceded that ground.

When President Obama waved his executive wand to halt deportations, liberals cheered. Even though the Supreme Court ultimately dealt a blow to that overreach, liberals clearly felt they were in the right. Now, executive authority on immigration could be used to revive kristallnacht. However, liberals don’t have a leg to stand on criticizing Trump’s authority to do so.

When President Obama’s signature law, the Affordable Care Act, started to collapse under its own weight, liberals thought it was fine and dandy to delay the employer mandate. It didn’t really matter that such action clearly violated the law. Conservatives and libertarians were candidly dismissed. Now, there’s precedent for Trump to dismantle the law from the comfort of his office. Expect a lot of liberal backpedaling.

When libertarians voiced fears about President Obama’s authority to orchestrate drone strikes off of secret kill-lists, liberals laughed them off. The right to a fair trial was trivial with a “cool” president! Now, that authority rests with a man who has shown a penchant for petty vengeance and Twitter feuds. Liberals probably don’t find black helicopter jokes so funny anymore.

Time for Liberals to Own an Excessive Executive

Libertarians have always made the case for executive restraint. Both major ideologies, most recently liberalism, have argued that the times require a strong executive. The modern president, of course, shouldn’t have to deal with things like the Constitution or the law in general. Libertarians were arguing for a relic of a bygone age.

Well, time to harvest those unintended consequences. As the anti-war left awakens from their eight-year slumber, they’ll find some things have changed. They may not have been paying attention when Obama expanded all of President Bush’s executive abuses. But one can certainly make a reasonable bet that they’re paying attention now.

While they were comfortable making snide remarks about libertarian paranoia, Obama quietly amassed new and consequential powers. Now the cool guy is leaving office, and all those powers still flow from the presidential pen.

As a general rule, the presidency should never receive many powers that you wouldn’t trust to your worst enemy to handle unchecked. Liberals ignored this simple rule, and now they’re helpless to stop the most cherished items on their agenda from being consumed in the abyss of President Trump. If it wasn’t so important, it’d probably be funny.

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