Patriotism: a High-Demand Commitment
Part II: Guaranteeing Our Freedoms
Audacity of Presidential Power-Grabbing
Abhorent to Nation’s Founders
In the first installment of this series on constitutional-conservativism
(http://rajjpuutsfolly.blogtownhall.com/2010/05/19/obama,_mainstream_media_label_tea_party_insurgents.thtml) we looked at freedom, per se. Rajjpuut continues with a close look at personal and state freedoms as discussed in the all-important 10th Amendment, sometimes known as the “Federalism Amendment.”
Barack Obama is the national nightmare that some supporters of the Articles of Confederation and other anti-constitutionalists back at the nation’s founding strenuously condemned. Seemingly ignoring all seventeen of the allotted powers (enforcing our borders; standing up to our nation’s traditional enemies; obeying the uniform laws of bankrupties; and keeping treaties with our friends are all powers which Barack Obama has not chosen to exercise according to the folks in Arizona; South Korea; certified creditors of GM in Indiana; and allies in Poland to name just a few instances), Obama has made himself a picnic in abusing the constitution by advancing powers NOT granted by the Constitution. Many thought that Franklin Delano Roosevelt grossly overstepped the bounds of federalism with the 40 new agencies his administrations created. Barack Obama created almost 390 new agencies just in one law: Obamacare.
The powers of the federal government are listed in Article I, Section 8. They are available for anyone to read and simple to understand. More importantly, these powers
A. follow a simple, predictable pattern and
B. Much discussion was also made of which powers the federal government definitely did not have and should not have.
In its obvious general outline of powers for the federal government which amount to the 17 specific powers allowed, the Constitution provides for a government which protects the nation’s borders and defends against foreign invasion by maintaining an efficient army and navy; deals with custom and tariff matters; conducts foreign relations including war and treaties; settles disputes among the states and facilitates trade and intercourse among the American people and states and with the peoples and states within sovereign foreign nations.
Before looking at the powers the founding fathers refused to grant to the federal government, it’s crucial to understand that in a federal system such as ours the efforts over the entire two hundred plus years of the nation’s existence to turn the states into “departments or extensions” within the federal government . . . that is, into mere “administrative units” of the national govermnet is the greatest single threat to our nation’s survival as the founders foresaw and planned for it. Recent “States Rights” discussions (that is, up until the contemporary furor in Arizona over that state’s immigration laws and the 21 State “rebellion” against Obamacare directiives for the states that would literally bankrupt every state both calling for a new appreciation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution) arguments were as insipid as the notion that people wishing upon stars might somehow influence the cosmos to somehow influence our fates. Lyndon Johnson’s expansion of the “Welfare State” is the prime example of this insidious trend both in Welfare itself and in Medicaid especially . . . the states were turned into administrative arms of the federal government’s policies. Nixon’s policies of “federalistically” turning over large grants of federal monies to the states has undoubted great practical value, but only confuses the issue . . . why is that money in the federal hands in the first place?
Federalism, and specifically the 10th Amendment, is the single greatest system ever devised for the protection of individual and state liberties and for providing counter-balance to over-reaching by the federal entities. Powerful centralized government is the threat to our listed freedoms and to freedom of action. That is, because we don’t have LISTED LIBERTIES for the individual or the states . . . but they are free to do whatever is not listed as criminal . . . we have true liberty. Confusion about the limits of federal government must be cleared up and must be always aligned with the intents of the founding fathers if this blessed state of liberty is to prevail. All powers NOT listed in the Constitution are specifically reserved for the states and individual citizens.
And just how far has the nation strayed from this wise path? Virtually no one today understands the breadth of discussion, consideration and debate that ensued once it was popularly agreed that the Articles of Confederation were too weak. During the argument going on over possible adoption of the Constitution, the Constitution’s advocates also enumerated powers the federal government absolutely would not have. The Bill of Rights was, one answer to critics. The most Republican document in the world still stands us in good stead 223 years after its creation. But the biggest protection, the thing that satisfied virtually all the Constitution’s detractors was the addition to the Bill of Rights of the last of the original Amendments: the 10th Amendment. The federal government would NOT be granted the potential for unlimited power but severely limited in power and abuse potential and all powers NOT specifically enumerated for the federal government would be reserved to the individual states and to individual citizens.
In addition, moreover, the Constitution’s proponents publicly told the people some of the important subjects which fell within the states’ exclusive jurisdiction - and outside the federal government’s control in a variety of speeches, newspaper articles, letters, and pamphlets. Chief among these proponents were, of course Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Other names of note include:
James Wilson (convention delegate and chief proponent in Pennsylvania), Edmund Pendleton (chancellor of Virginia and chairman of his state’s ratifying convention), James Iredell (North Carolina judge, pro-Constitution floor leader at his state’s ratifying convention and later U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Maryland Congressman Alexander Contee Hanson, Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant (a Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court), Alexander White (Virginia lawyer, ratifier, and later U.S. Senator), prominent businessman Tench Coxel and John Marshall (ratifier and later U.S. Chief Justice).
Here are some of the powers they solemnly promised would be outside the federal sphere:
- governance of religion
- training the militia and appointing militia officers
- control over local government
- most crimes
- state justice systems
- family affairs
- real property titles and conveyances
- wills and inheritance
- the promotion of useful arts in ways other than granting patents and copyrights
- control of personal property outside of commerce
- governance of the law of torts and contracts, except in suits between citizens of different states
- services for the poor and unfortunate
- licensing of taverns
- roads other than post roads
- ferries and bridges
- regulation of fisheries, farms, and other business enterprises.
The vast majority of these areas have been encroached upon by the federal government already. For example, the national endowment for the arts and other such organization is not a federal matter; involvement in the welfare state is forbidden; as is educational involvement; interstate highways; income taxes; inheritance taxes; family affairs; the national guard as we know it; control of personal property; and a hundred other areas where the federal government has crossed the line drawn by the 10th Amendment.
Right now our National Debt is approaching $14 TRillion; more shockingly our national obligation for Government Spending Boondoggles and Government Interference Boondoggles (GSBs and GIBs such as Social Security, Medicare and the federal side of Medicaid) has reached $109 TRillion . . . all this problem debt was created in areas where the Constitution forbid the federal government to tread. The lifeblood of the nation has been poisoned by this wanton and total ignorance and denial of the 10th Amendment. Most Americans not only don’t understand the provisions of the 10th Amendment, but because of the welfare state and the gross entitlement sentiment many citizens would also feel threatened by the loss of federal government involvement. The problems are exacerbated when its realized that these programs were all created as set asides and that congress never obeyed its own laws and set the money aside for these programs. Here, then lies the root cause of our present fiscal unaccountability and the potential for danger from the Obama administration’s headlong power grab . . . .
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,