Monday, May 4, 2009

Tenth Amendment NOT Repealed!

While I am encouraged by the unprecedented grassroots activism sweeping across the country, I do realize that changing the political landscape on a national level is usually a long and laborious process. Freedom lovers in the Heartland, the Southeast, and the West have little (actually almost nothing!) in common with Northeastern liberals and the West Coast lunatic fringe. No offense to you good folks who are exiled in those places, but in broad brush terms it's true. Trying to overcome that entrenched opposition makes the challenge doubly difficult. There is, however, one avenue that can provide more immediate relief for the geographic majority of us- the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Thirty-five of the states are in the process of reasserting their rights under that amendment, which simply reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This is crystal clear and unequivocal - the federal government has specific limitations on what it can and can't do; citizens of each state are to have the ulitimate say so in how they're governed. Don't like the tax laws in Michigan? Move to Texas! Kansas alllows late term abortions – change the law or move to Oklahoma where life is respected. The one overarching problem we face in this country is simply the size, scope, cost and intrusiveness of the federal government. The founding fathers foresaw this over-reaching, and the tenth amendment was designed to check this. What they perhaps did not foresee was that the states would, over time, passively yield their authority to creeping federalism.

“But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm...But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity. ” James Madison, Federalist 48

Madness, indeed! Insanity is where we're headed, so consider the general alarm sounded. A reassertment of state sovereignty is one way to exert pressure on Washington that is not dependent on a national consensus. While the federal government has shown no hesitation to use its vast (illegal) power to coerce, intimidate, or outright blackmail states into compliance with their schemes, there is evidence that more than a few states have had enough, and are willing to stand up to Washington in spite of their threats. Consider the enormous impact that Texas alone would have if they actually exercised their right to become the Republic of Texas once again! While Texas is unique in that respect, now imagine if they were joined in their resistance by Alaska and even a few other energy or agriculturally rich states. It wouldn't undo the insanity in DC, but could at least throw enough sand in their gears to slow them down while we work for a broader systemic and national change. Please urge your state's elected officials to press forward with this issue while we continue to press the battle on other fronts as well. Here is a link you should bookmark:


No Idle Hands Knitter said...
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No Idle Hands Knitter said...

Thanks for reminding us how great the 10th amendment is!