In high school civics, most of us were taught about the Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances in our government. As a refresher, our government is designed with three branches, each with individual powers to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.
The Legislative Branch passes laws. The Executive Branch enforces laws. And the Judicial Branch interprets laws. The framers of the Constitution were astute and understood the need to balance the power of each branch. “It is by balancing each of these powers against the other two, that the efforts in human nature toward tyranny can alone be checked and restrained, and any degree of freedom preserved in the constitution,” said John Adams, a Founding Father and our second President.
Historically, these three branches have, for the most part, stayed in their own lanes. But in the past decade, we’ve seen an escalation of government overreach and individuals trying to create, impose and interpret laws in which they have no authority. We’ve seen this at all levels of government.
One of the best examples can be found by reviewing how government officials handled the COVID lockdowns and mandates. Clearly the Executive Branch took on the role of creating, as well as enforcing laws. Alternatively, consider our current President’s position on immigration issues, where he refuses to enforce the law of our land.
On a local level, the legislature overstepped their bounds when they passed a law disregarding the two-thirds majority mandate required to impose additional taxes. The Judicial Branch later ruled against them, and they were unable to collect those additional taxes.
Our system of Checks and Balances allows these types of overreaches to not remain unchallenged and gives us a way to push back against the rule of the few with the will of the many. The United States’ system of government is far from perfect but, I believe, it’s the best in world. The freedom we enjoy as a nation is the envy of many countries. And yet, more and more I see people in this country willing to throw away our government, and freedom, because they don’t see eye to eye on issues.
Just because most of us aren’t in government, doesn’t mean we don’t have responsibilities to govern. It is our job to engage and let our voice be heard. The recent primary election results in Nevada were determined by just over 25 percent of registered voters. That means that almost a quarter of those registered to vote didn’t bother to voice their opinion.
CALL TO ACTION: It’s time we stopped complaining when things don’t go our way. When that happens, so many rush to overthrow one branch of government or undermine our nation’s Checks and Balances because they didn’t get their way. Our Founding Fathers gave “We the People” the means by which to govern ourselves. Free elections and active participation are where our voices are heard; be a part of this process. By that same token, here’s some hard truth for you, if you didn’t vote, you gave up your seat at the table and the right to complain about the way our state and country are going.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”