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(Edited November 28th, 2014)

 George Washington was our first President.  Of course you knew that.  I do suspect however, that very few of us know that he could have been our King.  That is an incredible thing to consider.  Not only because we are now a representative republic (though we are often falsely labeled a democracy), but also because in that day and age, there was the prevailing belief in the “divine right of kings” of which the Princeton University website provides this description.

“The divine right of kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including (in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries) the Church. According to this doctrine, since only God can judge an unjust king, the king can do no wrong. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute sacrilegious act.” (emphasis added)

Bob Dotson (USA Today), points out that if Washington had become King, we would have an alternate history.  He writes,

“George and his wife, Martha, had no children. After he died, the succession would have passed to the descendants of his two brothers, Augustine and Samuel. Sam married five times. Today he and his brother have more than 8,000 descendants. Fewer than 200 still bear Washington’s name.” (full text)

Okay, so let’s be happy we aren’t living in the Kingdom of America, thanks to Washington’s love for individual freedom and exceptionalism.  Although, the fact that I am 9th cousin, 10 times removed does make it seem a bit appealing.  Okay, seriously, all people have the right and privilege to “the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence). Arguably, this rugged free spirit, this insurrection against the flawed philosophy of the divine right of kings, and against the tyranny of kings (to wit, England’s King George) is what has made America the most incredible sociopolitical and socio-religious global influence in world history.  Finally, the common man could have a stake in the wealth of nations.  It wasn’t just the land Lords and Nobles that owned property.  Feudalism and the divine right of kings are closely tied.  Not all kings were selfish tyrants who ruled with a ruthless zeal.  Some were good.  It was all luck of the draw.  The quality of the people’s lives was almost fully dependent on the extent to which their King or Queen was benevolent.

I can only imagine what it would be like to have any member or former members of our federal government today, sitting on a throne issuing royal decrees.  Okay, here’s the hook.  We are closer to that than many of us may think.  The form of government our founders (including George Washington), gave us in the historic and groundbreaking constitution set up a system of checks and balances.  It protects the people of the United States (to the extent it is possible), from being subject to the royal decrees of a king, or even a President from acting like a king.

For decades, our Presidents have used Executive Orders.  The good news, they are permissible under the constitution, provided they do not extend beyond the executive or administrative branch of government.  In other words, the President has the power as executive to issue orders within his branch of government to direct that branch.  The powers of the President are then a check against an overpowering legislative branch or judicial branch and they in turn check the executive branch.  What our Founding Fathers gave us is a thing of beauty.

It seems laughable, downright ludicrous to think we might ever have a monarchy (or oligarchy) here in the good ole’ U.S. of A.  Yet we are far closer to that reality than almost all of us realize.  We are at a precipice of history yet again.  Who is our George Washington today?  Who will be offered the opportunity to be King, and will he or she defer to THE PEOPLE to empower the people as did the venerable George Washington?  It was within his reach to seize power and yet in humility, he deferred to the people to do what he believed was the will of God.  A free people who (although not equal in all things), would have an equal opportunity toward the pursuit of happiness, unhampered by royal decrees or Lords and Nobles.

President Obama has expressed his intent to issue an Executive order to put into place “legally” enforceable policies to manage and organize the nation’s immigration system (Click here to watch this video excerpt of a Constitutional Attorney from George Washington University discussing the President’s intent). The President claims his reason is that the congress (the legislative branch), is uncooperative and incompetent and so he alone will solve the problem by what I will call Executive Decree.  This flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution and the original intent of the Founding Fathers, not the least of which was George Washington who set an example of humility and deference to the people that I call on President Obama to follow.

He literally has no constitutional authority to issue orders or “decrees” outside of the executive branch. He is effectively doing an end-around the other branches of government just because he wills it as what liberal constitutional lawyer Johnathan Turley called “…a majority of one.”  The problem may also be that the executive branch has adopted agencies and powers that should not rightfully belong to the executive branch.  I am not an expert in that area but it suffices to say, this is a precarious precedent that will be established if this sitting President does this and we do not begin impeachment proceedings.  It is a far easier thing to deny a person the power of kings than to later attempt to take it back.

My fellow Americans, I love America and the dreams that have been realized under her protective liberty.  I love that my grandmother immigrated here with her parents and forged a good life here.  I owe them a debt of gratitude.  It would be preposterous for me to eschew immigration to America.  I am for it. I just don’t think sneaking under fences or through tunnels or in the trunk of a car is the way.  There are many other considerations I will not address here because my intent here today isn’t to solve the immigration problem (but we must).  It is to consider something even more foreboding.  Can we agree that WE all, not HE alone need to solve our nation’s problems of immigration among others.  We the people need to deny the president those monarchical powers.  We don’t want a monarch or at least I hope we don’t!  Let us raise our voice and shout from the roof tops, “We will be free!”  We will not have a king or anything that resembles it!  Whether I like this President or not is irrelevant.  Why? I may like his ideas but the next president I may loathe his/hers.  Once we give the office that power, we give it to every person who thereafter occupies that office.  Let us stand against it now while the price is not heavy.

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