TWO DECADES FROM now, no one will remember whatever it is that seems so important to us today. But if we damage our democracy, everyone will remember that it was seriously desecrated between 2010 and ’20 by a partisan political system that was unwilling to legislate in a reasonable, common-sense manner.

Where’s the respect for democracy? When it comes to respect, sometimes little things make a big difference. Has respect between the leaders of our government and the people it serves deteriorated to the point that we’ll never see civility again?

It’s hard to dispute the fact Democrats oppose everything President Donald Trump wants out of blind hatred, choosing political expediency over the safety and security measures supported by former presidents, and now, advocated by the current administration.

The problem with polarized politics is that both parties don’t mind stretching constitutional limits to achieve their policy goals. Democrats never objected to Barack Obama’s abuses of executive powers. Now, they are appalled when Trump tries to use them. But that’s no excuse for Trump’s risky abuse of presidential authority.

There is no doubt Trump pushes the envelope with his rhetoric, but when all the opposition talks about is inequality, socialism, racism, sexism, bigotry, envy, class warfare, people not paying their fair share and playing the blame game, it is hard to see a peaceful path to a bipartisan understanding.

Partisan politics as practiced today is a quagmire. It does not have the best interests of the American people at the top of the list. It is all about winning the next election and is totally self-serving the party’s interests.

The party in power spends every waking hour trying to disable, disrupt and sabotage the party in the majority. The lone goal is to cripple the opponent’s ability to function and legal scholars say that rancor upsets the constitutional balance of power.

In the current case, if Democrats want to remove Trump from office, the best way to do that is to put together a platform that appeals to a majority of moderates and win the 2020 election. Spare the country the animosity and constant trauma brought on by conspiracy investigations that only make matters worse.



*  *  *

THIS WHOLE southern border fencing-security situation has been going on for 20 years. Most Americans agree it is a crisis, but don’t agree that it is an emergency. The two sides are digging in and it’s going to be a divisive 2020 election issue.

The thing is, America is for legal immigration. It also is true that the vast majority of people are against illegal immigration. We can’t agree on how to contain it. If we can’t contain it, how do we deal with it? What kind of strategy is catch and release?

The Republican Party wants strong borders. There has to be limits to the number of people flooding into the country. But that position paints them as lacking empathy. As the party against race and color. Immigrants are often drawn to vote for Democrats.

The Democratic Party wants to be nonracist, compassionate, generous and inclusive. They prefer to not worry about lax security, crime, cost factors and related matters. If immigrants come here, they will vote for Democrats and that will help them dominate in future elections.

The fact is all of this crazy drama could have been avoided if Democrats would have conceded another $4 billion for border barriers and Republicans would have agreed to legalize the Dreamers. That’s compromise. That blame falls on Trump.

What’s the answer? Moderates of both parties are willing to trade better border security for a deal that protects the Dreamers, those who were brought here illegally as children. Radical liberals and right-leaning conservatives are standing in the way of a solution. Shame on them.



*  *  *

SO HERE we are with Trump declaring a national emergency to scrape together a few billion extra dollars for border fencing. Democrats across the country are fighting the declaration with numerous lawsuits. This spat could take years in the courts; more petty politics.

In the past, there have been about 58 national emergencies declared. Trump is using the 1976 National Emergencies Act, a law that codifies presidents’ power to declare an emergency. I think the majority of people believe this crisis doesn’t rise to the level intended by the 1976 act.

The late Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson once wrote “A president’s authority is at its peak when he acts with the support of Congress. It is somewhat weaker if he acts on his own, but Congress hasn’t spoken. His power is at its lowest ebb when the president takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress.”

When approved, most people presumed that presidents would exercise these powers with great restraint and only in real emergencies. Trump has elected to test those assumptions. Opponents from both parties feel this legal challenge, if Trump wins, will lead to many more bogus declarations in the future.

The temptation for executive overreach is just too great. Future presidents could use the powers to declare emergencies to address gun violence, climate change, soaring medical and prescription costs, and other pet issues.