2017 February 03 Friday
Executive Order Shock From Lack Of Political Education In USA

Executive orders aren't dictatorial abuse of authority. They've been used since the beginning of the republic. They are subject to overturning by the Supreme Court and by a veto-proof majority in Congress. Don't panic. Ignorance causes much emoting.

Abrams connects the shock and media frenzy based on Trump's executive orders to a lack of political history education in the US, amplified by outrage in social media. For young people, particularly, he says, the outrage feels brand new, even though protests over executive orders have a long history.

I suspect we are in for a very emotion-filled year.

Executive orders are a subset of all executive actions. In the first 12 days Obama signed more EOs than Trump.

In America a lot of more politically motivated people who feel very strongly they are in the moral right are going to tend to assume that their moral preferences must be constitutional and the opposing view must be unconstitutional. How can the law be anything but fair? How can my moral preferences be anything but the best and highest moral views possible? Plus, I've got so many like-minded friends and social media acquaintances who agree with me that surely anyone who disagrees with me is the hell spawn of Satan. Such is the level of reasoning we can see among many angry people.

The more I read the fewer people with whom I'd want to discuss politics, history, or human nature. There is just too much appalling ignorance out there, proud self-righteous appalling ignorance.

My worry in all this is that the level of dogmatic certainty is rising, especially on the Left and that rising and expanding set of doctrines held to be true is putting the Left and Right on a course of ever increasing bitterness across partisan lines. I've said this before: read Bill Bishop's The Big Sort. Left and Right are increasingly segregated from each other in different counties and different states. They do not know each other and think worse of each other every year.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2017 February 03 12:59 PM 

Seth W. said at February 9, 2017 2:41 PM:

Yes, ignorance causes much emoting, but the emoting is not because of the fact that there are executive orders, but because of the kind of executive orders we get nowadays. As you yourself say it "They've been used since the beginning of the republic." Everybody knows that, no problem there.

From the second half of the 20th Century all we've been getting for presidents are actors, cowboys and businessmen. That creates a conflict of interests with The People.

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