Oppose the Status Quo

Every day, I get on Facebook to see a new viral video of violent riots and protests. I see another Facebook fight amongst brothers. I see innumerable passive aggressive statuses meant to hurt your friends and neighbors. I understand the anger, and the fear, and the criticism of what we see happening in Washington. People on both sides of the line, the left and the right, Republican and Democrat alike are enraged and defensive. We are turning against our fellow man, insulting one’s intelligence, slandering one’s morality, and ultimately degrading our own character as well. But why? Why are we turning on each other? You’ve lived next to your neighbors for years. Exchanged recipes at block parties, mowed their lawn, even watched their children from time to time while they ran errands. But now, after all these years, now, they are a deplorable person. Because why? Because they voted for Hillary? Or because they voted for Trump? None of that matters now, because the election is over. Whether we like it or not, Donald J. Trump is the president of these great United (or not so united) States for the next 4 years. It’s not your neighbors enacting countless executive orders that are changing your livelihood; these changes are coming from The Oval. This is what should enrage us. Legislation was not meant to be penned from The Oval Office, but from Capitol Hill.

I am, by no means, blaming Trump for this egregious act against our Constitution. No, it is a trend that has been in place long before DJT took office, and will continue to exist long after he leaves office, unless WE, the people stop it. It has been a blistering 14 days since Trump was sworn in to the position as POTUS. In these short 2 weeks, he has enacted 18 executive orders. That means that President Trump has basically just made up 18 rules that he is now saying are law. Now, I am not necessarily saying that I disagree with some of the content proposed in these orders, however I am vehemently opposed to one centralized power. That was not how the framers of our Constitution intended this nation to be. We were divinely appointed 3 branches of government; the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, to act as a system of checks and balances to ensure that the power was not concentrated amongst one individual or branch.

As I mentioned before, Trump is not fully to blame for the slippery slope we have embarked on with regards to executive orders. While 18 in 2 weeks is fairly substantial, lets not forget about the 276 executive orders that President Barack Obama ordered in his 8 year stay on Pennsylvania Avenue. Or the 644 “presidential memorandums” Obama established (which basically is slimy D.C. talk for executive order). Why are we giving these men sole control over our lives? The POTUS was never intended to be able to enact hundreds of items of legislation from the Resolute Desk.

So let’s break this down for a minute. What exactly is an executive order? An executive order is a legal order issued by the president to members of the executive branch to aid in the execution of laws and statutes that are already enacted. It is NOT legislation. The duty of the executive branch of government is only to execute and enforce the law. The executive branch does not have the ability to make laws. As defined by Article I Section I of the Constitution, legislation is left solely up to Congress. The only role in legislation the POTUS, the head of the executive branch, has in legislation, is to enforce current laws and ordinances, as well as Veto proposed legislation by Congress. The power of executive orders is not outlined in the Constitution at all. However, in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, we find the “Necessary and Proper” clause which has been the justification for decades of presidents to put forth these executive orders that are being thrust down our throats as if they were law.

The power of an executive order should only, and can only, extend to the ends of the executive branch of government. When an executive order, breaches the bound of legality and seeps into the lives of the citizens of this nation, we have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution and defend our rights to proper legislation entitled to us in Article I Section I of the Constitution. It is our job as American citizens, to hold our Congressman accountable for allowing the POTUS to absorb their authority. Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Whether you agree with the orders executed by President Trump or not, you should not sit idly by while our Constitutional rights are being trampled on by a far off central power. Remember that in 4-8 years from now, the tables could be turned once again and it can be your liberties infringed upon by the perpetuation of unconstitutional executive orders.

We have a duty to contact our state senators and representatives. Voice to them your opinions about the orders that Trump has enacted. Share with them how you feel they are just or unjust, but most importantly, share with them how you feel the path of legislation afforded to us by the Constitution has been side stepped, and you would like your elected officials to advocate on your behalf. The average US Senator makes $174,000 each year. If the President is absorbing their role in the legislative process, what exactly are we paying our senators and representatives to do? Hold them accountable and use your elected officials to your advantage. Call for justice, and call for the overthrow of the perversion of our Constitution.

We must be the protectors of the Constitution. If we do protect the framework of this nation, we will all see ourselves, both Republican and Democrat, dissolving into a society where we have no freedom or liberty at all. Mark Levin said, “What the Founding Fathers created in the Constitution is the most magnificent government on the face of the Earth, and the reason is this: because it was intended to preserve the American society and the American spirit, not to transform it or destroy it.”

I have attached some links to sites that easily identify ways to contact your state congressman:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page

 

 

The One Who Changed Me

Today marks 5 years without you. It seems crazy to even put down in words, that you have been gone that long. Even in your absence, you have shaped my life tremendously.

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Kalyn Michelle Nguyen was one of the most faithful, kind, enduring people I have ever met. She battled brain cancer on and off since she was 9 years old. I don’t know many 4th graders out there that could’ve handled chemo and radiation with the dignity and grace that she did. Five years ago today, I received a text message from her father informing me that she had lost her lifelong battle with cancer and returned home to her place in Heaven.

I still remember everything about that day. I was at my church building for a youth event planning meeting. The meeting had just finished and I looked down at my phone to see that text from her dad, telling me she was gone. I excused myself into the hallway and collapsed onto the floor. It felt like the life had been sucked out of me. Tears were streaming from my eyes and I must have been sobbing loudly as the next thing I recall was the mother of one of my best friends sweeping me up in her arms asking me if I was okay. I didn’t have to say it to her, she just knew what had happened.

Her father had only really kept in contact with a few of our friends so I knew that not all of my friends knew what had happened. It fell on my shoulders to call all of my friends and tell them that we had lost Kalyn. We had a large group of girlfriends; we had all been friends since elementary school. I called each of these girls who I considered my sisters, and told that them that we lost our little sister.

The rest of that day was spent together. We got a bunch of balloons and went and hiked a short trail at a local mountain range. At the top of the mountain, we each wrote a promise or a goal to a small piece of paper and attached it to the end of a balloon. At the same time, we all released our balloons up to the Heavens as a promise to Kalyn of the things we would accomplish on this temporal Earth for her.

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Part of my promise I made to her that day was that I would pursue a healthcare career so that I could help other people and families battling serious ailments, as Kalyn did. I still have a long way to go; I have to actually make it through PA school! But I know that I am on track to keep my promise I made to her 5 years ago. And I know that she is smiling down on all of us girls today and is so proud of all of us.

I am so grateful for the role that Kalyn has had in my life both while she was on Earth, and since she has passed. It’s hard to explain the unbreakable bond that has formed between us girls since we lost her. That kind of grief draws you closer to someone than I think anything else ever could, and I don’t know what I would do without these women in my life.

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Being Kalyn’s friend was an extremely humbling experience. She had so many physical and emotional trials, yet she was always found smiling. She had a way to bear down and endure anything that life threw at her. I am grateful for the amazing example she was to me, and I hope one day to emulate her faith, hope, and love she had for others.

I’ll always cherish those recesses spent listening to Taylor Swift on my iPod in the dugout of the baseball field, or staying up late at sleepovers and talking about our crushes. You were the best friend a girl could ever have.

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“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…”

-For Good from the musical Wicked

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