Big ideas equal small benefits to most of U.S.

Like many Americans I have watched with both fascination and horror the behavior of the Trump administration with its multiple scandals, resignations and firings. My first instinct was to blame Donald J. Trump, after all he is the president. Recently, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Trump is, in the final analysis, a flawed human being created by God and shaped by his own history and sometimes self-defeating ideas and actions. Aren’t we all? Likely that is why the founding fathers did not embrace an autocratic government as their model. Even merry ol’ England has a parliament now, although they have retained the queen.

What we all need to remember is that one person does not make a government or a democratic society. The Congress, the courts, the media and the electorate (that’s all of us who vote) are equal partners in the execution of a fully-functioning democracy.

What is different about this president and this congress is that the powers which are meant to be shared have been concentrated in one branch — the executive. This consolidation of power started several presidents ago, when Congress stopped declaring wars and allowed the commander in chief to send troops wherever, without debate or legislative authorization. The current president has taken this erosion of congressional power even farther with his emergency declaration that the border wall “will be built” despite a congressional defeat. Mr. Trump’s recent directive to the Department of Justice, to decline to defend a duly passed and signed federal law, the Affordable Care Act, could mean that healthcare benefits will be taken from millions of Americans without debate or input from the Congress.

A country that leaves the most vulnerable behind is likely to become more divided and potentially violent. What are seriously ill Americans to do without affordable healthcare? While investors have demanded more profits, workers have been left to struggle to make ends meet. Dollars for education and infrastructure have been redirected to “tax breaks” for wealthy corporations. The possibility of a “greener” earth with less pollution and 21st century jobs in clean energy has been ignored causing children to take to the streets in protest.

We the people elected Mr. Trump to office, despite his long history as a businessman who often left partners “holding the bag” for failed deals and simply moved on to the next opportunity. We the people need to correct this situation by turning out in record numbers to listen to his challengers, select the one we can support and vote like we have never voted before to take back the rule of law and our democracy. The country and our children and grandchildren cannot afford to be the victims of Mr. Trump’s next big idea.

Teresa Porter

Marietta