Question of the week: Who’s the greatest? Better yet, who has the most power? Is it the President? The Governors? the Mayors? Or We, the People? Americans (from the top down) seem to be confusing political preference with foundational tenets of the American government.
We are not a political analysis site. Here, we look to answer this question of greatness and power from an American civics and citizenship point of view. This question requires the reader to lay aside political preferences and factions. Instead, one needs a laser beam focus on who has the power based on our founding documents and principles.
You be the judge.
What 3 words introduce the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution?
“We the People…”
What’s the sentence used in our Declaration of Independence to denote who grants the power to the government to secure our God-given rights?
“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
What did Abraham Lincoln say about the American form of government in his Gettysburg Address?
“that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The U.S. Constitution, Article II, establishes the Executive Branch (the Presidency).
The President is to carry out and enforce federal law. Also, the President:
Takes an oath to preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution
Serves as Commander in Chief of the Army, Navy, and state militias (when called into Federal service when war is officially declared)
Gives day-to-day orders and more specific regulations as Commander in Chief
May require the written opinion of cabinet officials
Pardon offenses (before, during, or after indictment or conviction) except impeachment
Makes treaties with consent of two-thirds of the Senate
Appoint Supreme Court Justices, Ambassadors, principal Federal officers with advice and consent of the majority of the Senate
Gives information to Congress
The Tenth Amendment states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
So, if it’s not in the Constitution and if it’s not prohibited by the Constitution, the power then goes to the States or to the People. In other words, the federal government only has the power that We the People delegate to it through the Constitution.
So, who has the greatest power?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??