Monday, November 28, 2016

Trump and Executive power

I'm 254/300 through Jefferson's first term in Henry Adams history.  Adams has quite a lot to say about the executive position.  Jefferson like Trump believed in a small, not very powerful central government.  He favored the preservation of State's rights.  Ironically, Adams writes, there was no one in either the Senate or the House with as much competence, force, ability etc as Jefferson.  And so Jefferson assumed the power that he argued against in order to do what he believed was necessary.  And the House & Senate, peopled by lesser folk, supported him.  In his day the opposing party was the Federalists and Jefferson's resounding victory over them ended them as a party.  It is hard to believe something like that happening today.  Democrats or Republicans might lose but they are too well established to end.  John Adams, the Federalist (one-term) president who preceded Jefferson did one finally thing before he left the presidency, something that preserved Federalism.  He appointed John Marshall head of the supreme court.  Marshall was another powerful personality like Jefferson.  Marshall was a Federalist who didn't mind legislating from the Supreme Court.

And so the idea that the Democratic Party had some power over Hillary Clinton, power to approve or deny her the ability to run for President doesn't ring true in the Jefferson/Marshall sense.  She was too big a personality to be controlled.  Was Trump also too big?  I frankly haven't been following politics for a long time so I don't know.  He is either the truest Republican who has come along in a long time or he has made some very clever decisions about what to do during his first term, especially, reduce immigration, negotiate with businesses by means of tax incentives to do their business here in the U.S. and thus keep more jobs here (something some important swing states will especially appreciate), and reduce taxes.  He also intends to appoint conservative judges to the supreme court, judges who will do less legislating of the sort that Marshall did, judges who favor decentralizing power (something Marshall did not favor), that is restoring more power to the States.  An early test case may be Row vs Wade.  The right of abortion may be left to the individual states rather than dictated as it is now by Central Government, i.e., the supreme court.  

As to giving Trump guidance, that may be difficult.  If he is the huge personality that he seems to be (something on the order of a Jefferson or a Marshall), he may just hire the "reason' and "guidance" his non-political background has denied him.

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