March 7, 2012
For as much as those that be the rulers in the world, and would be taken for gods (that is, the ministers and images of God here in earth, the examples and mirrors of all godliness, justice, equity, and other virtues) claim and exercise an absolute power, which also they call a fullness of power, or prerogative to do what they lust, and none may contradict them: to dispense with the laws as it pleases them, freely and without correction or offense do contrary to the law of nature…
-John Ponet, A Short Treatise on Political Power, 1556
The powerful never cease in their quest for more power.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: “Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process. It does not guarantee judicial process.”
-From Democracy Now, 3/6/2012, Full transcript here.
The Divine Right of Kings was the governing principle of monarchs for centuries. It was based in the idea that those born into power were ordained by God to lead their people and were therefore infallible. Their actions were above review or reproach, and their right to rule could not be questioned.
Needless to say this led to such disgusting atrocities…
(WARNING: The following clip contains a brutal hand-chopping scene.)
“…any action against the throne must be punished ruthlessly, for that is the only way to maintain the absolute power of a king.”
…that the peasantry finally marched their monarchs to the guillotine (both figuratively and not so figuratively).
This is why we have a constitutional government. This is why we have a bill of rights. When government is given over to the whims of the powerful, the governed suffer.
No one is above the law in a true constitutional government, especially those in power. For any President to claim the power to assassinate a fellow citizen without judicial review or intervention is repugnant and blatantly unconstitutional.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
-Article 3, Section3, U.S. Constitution
The founders of this nation knew very well what the abuse of absolute power looked like. That’s why they dedicated an entire section of our constitution to explicitly clarify what treason meant, and the exact amount of evidence needed to convict someone of it.
The very concept of democracy cannot allow extrajudicial killing, because when a person is no longer protected from summary execution at the behest of the powerful, all other human rights are null and void. It is unthinkable to allow this to go on.
Those on the left who are brushing this off because they trust the President to not abuse his power need to ask themselves a very serious question:
Would you trust a President Romney, a President Santorum, or (heaven forbid) a President Palin to act with such restraint?
Remember fellow Obama supporters, this country elected George W. Bush… twice. And they’ll do it again, given the chance.
We simply cannot give this kind of power to anyone. It goes against everything we say we believe in and fight for. If we are ever going to live up to our ideals, we must turn back the tide of totalitarianism in our government.
I don’t believe in the divine right of kings, or presidents, to rule as they see fit.
And neither should any American.