“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
James Madison warned often of the encroachments of a central government, and warned that a central or federal government needed to be kept in check by a balance of power. The cornerstone of this balance of power was the will of the people being governed expressed not only in Congress but ultimately through the sovereignty of the individual states.
The federal government has over-reached and encroached on state sovereignty for decades – and under the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats. Each time the federal government has gone unchecked it has become bigger and bolder – and continues to do so with each usurping of power belonging to the states. The passing of Obamacare, just might be the coup de grace, or at least a giant step toward bringing down the republic.
What do I mean by such harsh rhetoric? Consider the Weimar Republic. This is the name of the parliamentary republic established in Germany in 1919. Although it was governed by a constitution, much the same as we are, the republic fell to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in the 1930â€™s through a usurpation of power. Simply put, it was done by passing legislation that enabled Hitler to circumvent their constitution.
It is noteworthy that one of the first major takeovers by Hitler of the public sector was health care. While it is argued that Obamacare does not constitute a takeover of the health care system, I submit that it is a gradual, insidious usurping of power, the likes of which Madison warned against.
Have you ever played a game in which the rules constantly changed to benefit your competitor? There is absolutely no way to win in such a scenario, and Obamacare is just that. The government regulates the market in which it has become a player. The competitors, the private insurers, cannot possibly compete and will therefore be forced to operate at a loss.
Since no one goes in business to lose money, eventually the private insurers will have no choice but to leave a losing market leaving only the government as the sole insurer of the public. The result will be sky- rocketing health care prices, and ultimately, rationed care – as such a system is too costly to sustain, especially given an already weakened economy.
Ultimately, if we continue on this path of unlimited spending and borrowing, the economy will collapse under the weight of all of the social programs and public health care, the republic as we know it will have gone a fundamental transformation, the likes of which President Obama himself spoke of on the campaign trail.
What can be done to stop it? Madison himself gave us the answer:
â€œResolved, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic â€¦ That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.â€
So likewise did Thomas Jefferson:
Therefore, the solution lies with you and I, holding our state legislators accountable to the people that elected them to office, and to the Constitution which they have sworn to uphold. Insist that your legislators stand on the Tenth Amendment and assert the sovereignty of their state. Insist that they vote to nullify every unconstitutional piece of legislation passed by Congress. The time is now as never before, that we the people, arise from our slumber and stand for liberty.
â€œRESOLVED: That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.â€
Kelly Galbreath is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Missouri Tenth Amendment Center.
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