The essence of government is police power, the ability to enact and enforce laws. At the federal level, the Congress has been designated to write the legislation and the Executive, the president, has the responsibility to either sign it into law or to veto it. When a law has been signed, it then becomes the responsibility of the Executive Branch to ensure its compliance.
At the federal level, the laws deal with interstate and international issues, ensuring that commerce may proceed across state lines, and that violations of federal laws may be enforced by federal authorities. In the case of international issues the Legislative Branch has the responsibility to issue declarations of war and the Executive Branch is responsible to serve as commander in chief of the military. The Executive also has the responsibility for international relations and can make treaties with other governments, subject to the advice and consent of the Congress.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution provides that powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people.
Shortly after he was first elected to the presidency, Mr. Obama made a statement on national television that he believed we needed a "national police force" equal in strength to our military. That statement, if it were to become implemented, would essentially destroy our form of government by usurping the most basic of states' rights, as it would put the definition and enforcement of laws in the hands of the federal government. The role of the states would be changed from serving the needs of the people to serving the federal government
During his tenure, we have seen a number of comments or steps taken by the president that makes one wonder if he is in fact working towards establishment of a national police force. For example, in the case of a black Harvard professor who had been away from his home, his neighbors called the police and reported that they believed the professor's house being broken into. When the police were dispatched they confronted a black man who appeared to be entering the house. The man became abusive towards the police and stated it was his house. The police demanded he show them proof of his identity. The professor took offense at that demand and the incident became a national issue. The president, before knowing any of the facts in the case, went on national television and stated that the "police acted stupidly".
In the Travon Martin case in Orlando, local authorities initiated their investigation of the case. The federal Justice Department appeared to influence the State of Florida's attorney general to also investigate that incident, and the Justice Department also opened an investigation. It became clear the state and federal cases essentially implied that the city's investigation would not be credible. And, as we all remember, the president went on national television to tell all that if he had a son, he would look like Travon Martin.
When the incident in Ferguson, Missouri, occurred, and the white officer shot the black man, both the president and the attorney general imposed themselves into the case. The attorney general went to Ferguson to meet with the family and the black community and told of how, in the past, he had been stopped and questioned by the police. He then went on to initiate a federal investigation. Neither the attorney general nor the president did anything to calm the situation, and the city erupted in flames. Even though many charges were leveled at the police and the prosecutor and other local officials, in the end, the investigations at both the local and federal levels showed that the shooting by the officer was justified.
Now, we all watch as Baltimore has erupted into riots and burning and looting, in response to the death of a black person who was injured and died while in police custody. While it appears that there may be some culpability on the part of the arresting officers, before an investigation could take place, the assumption of police guilt was leveled and the riots began. The mayor made a statement early on that the rioters needed to be given some room to carry out their freedom to destroy. The police essentially watched as the rioters pelted them with rocks and bricks, burned buildings and automobiles, broke into and looted stores, and moved freely from area to area to repeat the process. It appears there was a report that the White House encouraged the mayor towards the approach she took in dealing (or not) with the rioters. There are still questions as to why the National Guard was so late to the game, or whether there was some federal influence to go slow. In any event, the community that will be hurt the most is the one where the rioters reside, as needed stores that have been burned and looted may not be willing or able to re-open.
And now, protests and riots are being orchestrated in major cities across the country.
The question before us is this . . . are these riotous incidents being orchestrated so that the president can fulfill his desire to have a "national police force"? If so, say goodbye to our local and state government structures . . . say goodbye to a government of, by, and for the people.
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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