I can do whatever I want as President, Donald Trump proudly claimed as I watched his 80-minute speech to a large group of teen conservatives at the Turning Point Rally.
In fact there have been a number of occasions where President Trump has publicly announced that as President, as enshrined in Article II of the US Constitution, he can do whatever he wants.
The Washington Post did a story on the amount of times Trump said he can do whatever he wanted and that the American Constitution enshrined it – and this is part of why I commented last week that we must have some understanding of our own constitution.
British Prime minister Boris Johnson endeavored to shut down Parliament for five weeks as he tried to push through Brexit legislation, only to be told by the Supreme Court that he couldn’t – that his decision was in fact illegal.
The chief justice said: “The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”
Again, the need to understand one’s Constitution is so important, especially when it comes to knowing what we can and cannot do.
Prime Ministers and Presidents have come to the realisation that in fact they aren’t above the law and as impeachment proceedings have begun against President Trump, he too is aware that the no one is above the law.
In fact, past president Theodore Roosevelt said it directly: “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”
Simply put, President or Prime Minister, citizen or law maker, no one is above or can act outside of the boundaries that the law provides to keep us safe, just, transparent and accountable.
We are accountable and protected by the law, and of course we understand also there is the law of the land and the laws of God, that are higher than our man-made laws.
And these too, we are protected by and accountable to.
Simply put, when The Word says, “what a man sows he also reaps”, we understand that the seeds we plant today or planted years ago, will one day grow and bring forth fruit.
Sometimes that fruit is sweet and good to taste and makes our lives flourish even more and other times it is bitter and painful to eat, nonetheless we reap it because of what we sowed.
Frederick Douglas, one of the first Black statesman said when men sow the wind it is rational to expect they will reap a whirlwind, quoting from the book of Hosea.
The thing with hurricanes is you can see them coming, you feel the dark clouds surround you and then of course one feels the wind on their face.
I sometimes wonder as a country, are we feeling the wind on our face and do we see dark clouds forming, or do we turn our back to it and just pretend that hurricanes will not come our way.
That what we sow, we will not also reap? That somehow we are beyond, not only the laws of the land but also the laws of God, be they good or bad?
No one is above the Law. And this is where this week’s column began and where I wanted to end.
Not citizens, not Presidents.
It is that understanding that we are all accountable, partners to partners, husbands to wives, parents to children, children to parents, workers to their employers and employers to their workers.
How we understand the boundaries of these relationships can be found in marriage vows, contracts and laws, and for citizens of a country in your Constitution. Maybe it is time to have a look at it and read what it actually says.