After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, comedian Chris Rock made headlines.
Emotions were running high, and he spoke in favor of President Obama’s call for more gun control:
I am just here to support the President of the United States. The President of the United States is, you know, our boss. He’s also, you know, the president and the first lady are kinda like the mom and the dad of the country and when your dad says something, you listen.
He went on to say that when you don’t listen to your dad, there are consequences. Rock’s comments — so obviously ignorant — even drew laughs from other speakers standing behind him.
Of course, he’s a comedian, not a political pundit. But what’s not funny is that many people seem to think this way. “If the President said it’s the best thing to do, we’d better go along with it…” or face ridicule and fines. But who knows what is best for a country’s citizens, one man living in the White House or the citizens themselves? A single person dictating how millions of people should live their daily lives sounds less like a father and more like a king.
Fortunately, our president is not the country’s dad. Whatever he might wish, he doesn’t have the power to tell us what to do and punish us if we don’t listen to him.
As Sarah Palin has said, “We had a revolution back in 1776 because we don’t do kings.”
In the United States, the President is a public servant, like all other elected government officials. He is not our boss; we are his boss, and he answers to us. We need more elected officials who understand this. Maybe the election this week gave us a few more, but I’m not overly optimistic that our current set-up can fight back against a bureaucracy ever hungry for more power and control.
Obama has issued an unprecedented number of executive orders to force major policy changes. These repeatedly bypass Congress, which is the branch actually responsible for making laws. With all its challenges, there’s a reason our laws need to go through a large body of representatives who answer to the people.
Our Republic is a nation of laws. More important than any single idea or piece of legislation is the process by which our nation stands. The president certainly does not have to like what Congress does and, if he can, he’s welcome to try and veto legislation that comes across his desk. However, our nation does not permit a lawless declaration…
Of course, the nation is currently trying to sort out the full magnitude of the GOP’s success in reshaping the national political landscape after this week’s election. However, the electoral victories in Senate and governor’s races are not enough to stem the tide of an overreaching government.
We the people are responsible to keep our newly elected officials accountable by voting, making our voices heard, and calling for a Convention of States.
Don’t buy into the “Chris Rock” view of government, and don’t let these new leaders forget to whom they are accountable.
No matter if they’re Democrats or Republicans.
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