And then he said, "The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it's inefficient, outdated and remote. That's why I've asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people."
This paragraph is buried on page 7 of the President's State of the Union address of Jan. 24. It was expertly placed by a master propagandist. The words are deep into the speech when the minds of most are wandering and not paying attention - especially those in the television audience. Please read it slowly and carefully. Ask yourself what it means, or could mean.
On the surface, the words appear to be innocuous, but the consequences could be catastrophic if Congress grants him his wish.
Adolph Hitler asked for such power and got it by elected mandate from the people of Germany in 1933. It happened in March 1933 when he was elected to office as Chancellor of Germany. Two days after he was elected, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Bill, which gave him full authority over the government; and a democratically elected dictatorship was born.
Asking Congress to give him the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy to act faster than he now does with the executive orders, which he uses with the ease of a trapeze artist, is hard to comprehend. Why does he think he needs more authority to abuse our Constitution? A document which has been thoroughly misread, misinterpreted and trampled upon for the past 125 years by Congress and the legal system which was established by it.
In 1832, when he wrote Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville said America would become socialistic in a very democratic way. It doesn't take much imagination to understand how socialism can lead to a dictatorship. Historically, that's always the outcome of a socialist government. It slowly takes the power from the people and concentrates it in the hands of the elected elite. When the electorate realizes what has happened, it's too late. The people become restless and demand their rights. It's then the dictatorship flexes its muscle by using armed force against the people who have been disarmed by their own laws. Laws which they made possible. Is this in our future?
As Santayana said: "If you don't know history, you're doomed to repeat it." An on the other hand, if you know history, you shouldn't or won't repeat it.
Don't allow history to repeat itself again. If you do, you'll be sacrificing your freedom and liberty.
• Don Kennedy is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology. He has been a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2002.