Updated: Jul 2, 2019
By CJ Waldron
Our country was founded on the basis of three equal branches of government. They each had a role in maintaining an orderly function of the government. Their roles are:
The Legislative branch would make laws.
The Executive branch would enforce laws.
The Judicial branch would interpret the laws.
Instead, there is built into the Constitution a system of checks-and-balances that held each branch accountable.
For the Executive branch, there is the veto power to deny enacting any such law they saw as not benefiting Americans. For the Judicial branch, there is the power to declare any laws invalid if they do not meet the standards of the Constitution. For the Legislative branch there is the power of Congressional oversight that permits them to investigate, and if need be, remove those who are proven to have violated their duties.
What would happen if this system broke down?
Sadly, we are experiencing this under the current administration. With overwhelming evidence of obstruction of justice, Congress is divided over its role to hold the Executive branch accountable. In other words, Congress, or more succinctly Republicans in Congress, are failing to perform their Constitutionally mandated duty. They are failing to hold the Executive branch accountable.
With the cries for impeachment growing louder every day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing a revolt within her own party. Even though a majority of Americans oppose this action, these Congressional Democrats are demanding she move forward.
So, what is stopping her?
The issue lies in the impeachment process. First, articles of impeachment are to be introduced in the House of Representatives. This is currently controlled by the Democrats, who undoubtedly would like to see the Executive branch held accountable. Next, the president is put on trial before the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans.
Therein lies the failure, and ultimate downfall of our democratic process. Even if Democrats passed articles of impeachment against this administration, Republicans in the Senate would refuse to act on them, thereby abandoning their Constitutional duty.
For this reason, Speaker Pelosi is resisting the cries for impeachment. Moving forward and then seeing it fail in the Senate would only embolden the Trump administration, which has already usurped Congress by using Executive actions to stymie Congressional mandates.
Are we witnessing the downfall of our country? Perhaps. Which is why your vote is more vital now than ever come 2020. We need to hold both the Executive and Legislative branches accountable.
CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.