U.S. presidents have dictatorial powers. Many have already been exercised and become precedents — accepted. Many more and worse are potential powers, to be invoked when a president feels like it. If a president can get away with some new exercise of power, which he can if it doesn’t create too much resistance in the rest of the government, his party, the media and the people, then that’s the end of the matter. He then has augmented the dictatorship, which is both his and that of “enough” of the nation to leave the power in place. Over time, the dictatorship grows. It is already so large that a list of presidential powers is both amazing and frightening. President Roosevelt interned Japanese-Americans in camps by Executive Order 9066. If this were done today and applied to Texas and Hawaii, it would mean that 7 relatives of mine would be separated from their families and be removed to camps.
One of these powers is to prevent Americans from trading with non-Americans. Obama used this power by an executive order on December 19, 2014 that “prohibits the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea. The E.O. also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities operating in Crimea.”
The president can relax trading with Cuba and tighten trading with Crimea. This is a dictatorial power, a ruling by his edict alone. Obama is actively extending this kind of dictatorial power whenever he can. Obama and any president also claims and has the power to speak and act for all Americans on foreign relations. He can say things like this: “…the United States will not accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.” A U.S. president can steer the nation into conflicts, hostilities, and wars. These can last for decades. This is a seriously dictatorial power, moderated only by resistance in other parts of the government and people but supported also by elements of both.
Whenever I think about the state and the powers that it has, I can always find reason after reason why these powers are harmful and only very weak arguments why these powers are supposed to be helpful or right. I will listen if someone can provide convincing arguments as to why Americans are now forbidden to trade in Crimea and why Obama says that the “United States will not accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.” There are no such reasons, as far as I can see, anymore than there were reasons to isolate Cuba or for President Kennedy to authorize the Bay of Pigs invasion, another dictatorial action.6:28 am on December 22, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff