Opinion / Politics

Beware Concentrated Power – Past and Now

powerSomething happened in Germany this week, and it bears watching, not because of what Germany is up to, but because Biden could attempt the same.  What Germany’s federal government did is constitutionally dubious, even for Germany – and reminds us, beware of concentrated power.

The government passed a federal law, effectively amending their Constitution to create broad federal powers to limit social interactions and shut down their economy, over COVID.  Surprise, surprise, riots erupted across Germany – including big spikes at Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin.

This is an interesting turn, as Biden promised seemingly unconstitutional “federal mandates” for mask-wearing, social distancing, and business-shutdowns.  Like our 10th Amendment, the Germans had restrictions on federalizing power.  Still, their government – against strong opposition – “enshrined in law, powers to impose … curbs on social contact, rules on mask-wearing, drinking alcohol in public, and shutting shops.”  Boom, those are now federal powers.

In the name of public health, the new law gives Germany’s federal government powers to curtail civil liberties, transferring powers that resided at state and local level to the federal level.

“The aim of the amendment, drawn up by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, is to prevent legal challenges to the measures that have so far mostly been enforceable at the state or local level.”  In other words, legal safeguards against federal overreach were sidelined.

Like most Americans, Germans are concerned about COVID, a second wave, how fast vaccines are advancing, and their nation’s economy.  They are also concerned about use of public health to aggregate federal power, permanently changing the balance with states, giving the federal government the ability to place basic civil liberties at risk.

Accordingly, Germans went to the streets to resist an act they view as nearly unprecedented. One report noted, “although most Germans accept the latest ‘lockdown light’ to curb spread of the novel coronavirus in a second wave, critics say the amendment endangers citizens’ civil rights.”

I say “nearly” because German conservatives – rather ironically – see in this move shadows of pre-WWII power centralization. They see Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor since 2005 in a coalition with “Social Democrats” (sounding familiar?), pushing power concentration.

They see parallels between the current amendment and the ominous “Enabling Act of 1933,” which paved the way to Hitler’s dictatorship.  The 1933 law, dubbed a “Law to Remedy the Distress of People,” gave Chancellor and Cabinet power to override constitutional guarantees.  Opposition lawyers and legislators were intimidated.  The rest is history.

The analogy is sobering.  Critics may be right or wrong, but German streets filled with those concerned about an unsettling turn of events.  In Berlin, more than 190 people were arrested, nine officers injured.  Those arrested … were conservatives.

Not a surprise, German media made much of the protestors – here, conservatives – not social distancing or wearing face masks. They quoted federal officials saying the move – which halts objections to crackdowns – is a “once in a century phenomenon.”  Hmmm.

Across the water in America, we watch a candidate and party declare themselves victors, with allegations of fraud lingering and before the Electoral College votes. We see constitutional guarantees derided, lawsuits seeking transparency disparaged, and lawyers pursuing justice in impartial courts intimidated.

The intersection of an unusual German amendment, the earlier German “Enabling Law,” and events surrounding our election – and Biden’s promise of federalize mandates, violating our Constitution’s 10th Amendment is this:  Power concentration – federalizing what should stay state and local – is a flashing red light.

Whether the concentrator of power, for seeming good aims, is fascist, communist, or socialist matters less than concentration does.  What party commits an act of taking power from The People, trampling on a Constitution, is secondary.

Germany is not the United States.  Germany’s Constitution is not ours.  The history of our countries is very different.  That said, Biden’s team is eyeing Europe – you can be sure of that.  They are watching what happens in Germany.  They have made pledges that are leftist, face pressure from “progressives” to aggregate power, are thinking about constitutionally questionable acts – in the name of ending COVID.

Warning:  Beware federal governments intent on making state and local prerogatives their own.  Crises trigger temporary responses.  But if these become permanent, or require constitutionally dubious action, suspicion should rise.

Ronald Reagan said it best and is worth remembering.  He spoke profound words at the Brandenburg Gate, but also noted: “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” It was in the 1930s, was in the 1980s, and remains so today.

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TROJAK
10 months ago

Remember Merkel Comes from Russian controlled East Germany and was believed to be a Stassi.

Bill Brown
10 months ago

The 2020 Election is so full of FRAUD that anyone who claims there was no significant Fraud is a LIAR!!! If the 2020 election stands, our Federal Government is no longer legitimate!!! It has become time to TAKE-BACK OUR Government!!!!! Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution 2.0!!! Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!! Stand-up for Our Republic!!!! Remove Every DemocRat!!!!!

Bill Brown
10 months ago

We Americans, over the last 200 years, have all been brainwashed! Democracy KILLS – the economy, freedom, and the Spirit of Mankind!! There cannot never logically or factually be a “Representative Democracy”. That term is an Oxymoron – regardless who says it or in what “Dictionary”? it is found!! In a Democracy, every voter is a Legislator!!  Restrict that and it is no longer Democracy!! The other branches are Representative but the Legislature consists of every valid voter!! Winston Churchill: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”!!! God save our Republic!!!!!

Bill Brown
10 months ago

Write and/or Petition the U.S. Supreme Court! They need to hear the true Vox Americana!! Make absolutely sure all nine of them know in detail that we are fed-up with the lies, deceit, and FRAUD!!! The 2020 Federal Election is a travesty and a CRIME against AMERICA!!!!!

Bill Brown
10 months ago

The DemocRat Party has clearly become a Domestic Terrorists Organization advocating the violent overthrow of our Republic! They should be declared Domestic Terrorists immediately and prosecuted!! Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution 2.0!!! Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!! Stand-up for Our Republic!!!! Remove Every DemocRat/Communist!!!!!

Bill Brown
10 months ago

Obvious, Antifa and BLM are clearly Domestic Terrorists advocating the violent overthrow of our Republic! Not being said but just as obvious, most of the News Media and Social Media are also clearly Domestic Terrorists advocating the violent overthrow of our Republic! The List includes but is not limited to ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, The NY Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, PBS, NPR, etc.!! They should all be declared Domestic Terrorists NOW and their Owners and Officers prosecuted immediately!!! Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution 2.0!!! Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!! Stand-up for Our Republic!!!! Remove Every DemocRat/Communist!!!!!

Diana Erbio
10 months ago

Eye opening column. Wish more Americans were awake! We the People must not slumber, or we will lose our Liberty to the “Woke”….

PaulE
10 months ago
Reply to  Diana Erbio

That is truly our biggest problem. Too many Americans on our side seem content to just say “Oh well, the election was obviously impacted by massive voter fraud, but hey better luck next time.” That kind of sheepish attitude, where people just meekly accept the fraud and just assume the next election, using the same machines in the same manner and manned by the same personnel “counting the votes” as this election, will somehow be honest is of course absurd.

When only one side is fighting to get their way at any cost (the Democrats NOT us), it is kind of hard to win the war for our country’s future. The Democrats not only talk about what they intend to do, but then they ALWAYS follow through with actions to try and accomplish their goals. We on the other hand, meaning our side, rarely actually follow-up with concrete actions. That following through with actions is what made President Trump so successful. He not only said what he was going to do, but then he went about actually DOING IT. Sadly, without him leading the party going forward, I fear the vast majority of our so-called Congressional leaders will quickly backslide to all talk and no action. Content to “go along to get along” with whatever the Democrats want to do to our country.

Sorry of this is too realistic an assessment for some, but fighting a war for the future of a country is not some genteel exercise. You either defeat the enemy or the enemy defeats you. You can’t defeat anyone, if you’re not willing to fight back using whatever means you have available.

Mary
10 months ago
Reply to  Diana Erbio

All the more reason why we should forward these articles to friends and family. Getting the word out is imperative otherwise even ‘good’ people tend to be asleep and hence don’t speak out or resist the enemies of our country. We need the masses to resist the devil…..in other words the
Socialists who only feed on power and wealth.

Paul Galbreath
10 months ago

I believe our great President Donald Trump. There’s no way that biden could have beaten him without a lot of voter fraud. I hate to think they might get away with it. That would be the start of the greatest disaster ever to hit our country. May the good Lord protect and guide us in the coming days and years.

Kim
10 months ago

The tyranny of concentrated power is the reason why the United States has a Constitution. If we, as Americans, don’t stand up and fight for the freedoms that are ours by right, we will see a great country crumble. Our children and grandchildren won’t even be able to read about it because the “progressives” will have banned history books, burning them in the town square as Hitler and his fearful subjects did. They’ve already made great “progress” there, with our failing public education system.

Covid-19 is a temporary problem. It is not the death sentence so many would have us believe. With proper precautions taken by those who choose to do so, a vast majority survive an infection. Those who throw caution to the wind still outlive the virus almost all the time. Yes, there are those with certain medical conditions who are more vulnerable to the disease, and I highly recommend they follow their doctors’ advice.

Overreaching the authority of federal and local governments is a death sentence, though, for our economy and for your American dream. We’d better wake up and start letting our legislators know what is not acceptable, and stop voting these clowns into office. Power to The People!

Grace
10 months ago

I am not a Christain. I am agnostic. However I am aware of the change in attitudes in my country and they are dangerous. History is being obliterated, torn down in the public square. When will the books and painting be burned? . Religions of all denominations are being denigrated . Christian holy days such as Christmas and Easter are being cancelled to respect a virus., possibly never to return unless we as citizens revolt. The exalted leader of BLM, the Marxist agenda, has called for the destruction of all stained glass church windows depicting a white Jesus. BLM/Antifa mobs have spent months rioting and looting liberal cities and terrorizing citizens. When does it stop! .Only when the lotus eaters wake up and realize the damage that has already been done and more is to come.

Michael
10 months ago
Reply to  Grace

Grace, it stops when enough American Patriots have had it up to here with the crap that is Antifa and BLM and start shooting the perps. We were successful in 1776 and can be so again. Don’t involve the police. They are over-extended and in some cases, defunded. Just remember, the average response time of a 911 call is 8-11 minutes. The average response time of a 9MM parabellum round is 1150 feet per second. Which one would you rather have?

PaulE
10 months ago

Democrats have always been enamored of “European values”, in the sense they they are ALL to various degrees based on the socialist model. The United States and a very few of our allies were the exception to that growing globalist model. So of course Biden or whomever will actually be running our government behind the scenes, if this massive election fraud is allowed to stand, will look at Europe as a template for policies to be imposed here. That should come as a surprise to no one here.

The only question is what, if anything of any real substance, are the American people willing to really do when those same policies comes here? My sense given the response so far to having the election stolen in such an overt manner is honestly not much. Oh sure, there will be a lot of grumbling and hundreds of articles about it, but at the end of the day, it seems our side will largely just accept this like every other instance where our rights and freedoms have been slowly chipped away over time. That is just me based on how I have seen the American people respond to various evenys over the years. You may feel differently and that’s great. However, at the end of the day, its what you are actually willing to do to protect your rights and freedoms that counts. That other side is constantly working to undermine this country in countless ways. You don’t win a war with only the other side fighting.

Frankly, given the direction most western European nations have gone in the last 15 to 20 years, in terms of restricting the rights and freedoms of their citizens, with codifying laws to restrict speech, protests and numerous other previously enjoyed rights of their peoples, it is only natural that they would seek to leverage the global Covid pandemic for further political gains.

Kim
10 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I agree with your sentiments, PaulE, although what I wrote is “Awaiting for approval”. Maybe it’s because I included “Hi+ler” or P0wer to the Pe0ple” in the comment…

PaulE
10 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Hi Kim,

It’s kind of hard to guess what will trigger the wraith of the AMAC censor on any given day. You don’t have to use profanity or any sort of bad language. Sometimes it just comes down to stating something that the censor doesn’t like or approve of. Even stating a view that is simply opposed to whatever AMAC is pushing can trigger being censored. No rhyme or reason seems to be involved in the process.

Kim
10 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

It is weird. Nothing I wrote was critical of the article… With a few changes, I’ll give it another shot:

The tyranny of concentrated power is the reason why the United States has a Constitution. If we, as Americans, don’t stand up and fight for the freedoms that are ours by right, we will see a great country crumble. Our children and grandchildren won’t even be able to read about it because the “progressives” will have banned history books, burning them in the town square as Hi+ler and his fearful subjects did. Liberals have already made great “progress” there, with our failing public education system.
Covid-19 is a temporary problem. With proper precautions taken by those who choose to do so, a vast majority survive an infection. Those who throw caution to the wind still outlive the virus almost all the time. Yes, there are those with certain medical conditions who are more vulnerable to the disease, and I highly recommend they follow their doctors’ advice.
Overreaching the authority of federal and local governments is a Stop Order for our economy and for your American dream. We’d better wake up and start letting our legislators know what is not acceptable, and stop voting these clowns into office. P0wer to The Pe0ple!

Enjoy those leftovers!

PaulE
10 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Nothing in this response should have been censored.

Kim
10 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Well, thanks, PaulE! AMAC must have read your reply; they posted it.

Rik
10 months ago

I am fed up with hearing about “social distancing, wearing masks, closing churches but strip clubs are open and closing businesses”!!! … Our rights and freedoms are “Guaranteed under the Constitution and Bill of Rights”, but Progressively Communist Democratic Governors and Mayors openly flaunt their “alleged” powers forgetting that THEY WERE ELECTED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND WE DON’T SERVE THEM!!!
Democrats are using this Covid Pandemic to control and expand their own power period! … I say if anyone is so paranoid about this disease, then it is THEIR right to stay home and pay the consequences of THEIR decision but don’t tell others what they have to do in supporting their own everyday survival. Most people are not deaf, dumb and blind to how Communist countries dominate and rule their peoples, but for some reason Democrats think they can do that here. How many average Cubans, Venezuelans and Chinese people own guns? Well, that’s the same % of Americans that will own guns if Jackass Joe Biden is ALLOWED TO STEAL THE PRESIDENCY!!! … I may be old now but I will never kowtow to ANY politician!

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