It is dysfunctional, unconstitutional, careening towards a cliff at breakneck speed, and if it is not stopped, it will drag us all down with it. Am I being too harsh? Am I flat out wrong? Or am I saying what a lot of you are thinking?
We have been watching this process as it has picked up speed since the sixties, but it has really taken off since 9-11. For those who believe in big government, and they sit on both sides of the aisle, 9-11 was a crisis too good to let go to waste. In the name of security we have seen a federal government grow like a black hole sucking in state powers, sovereignty and our liberties.
But they tell us it’s for our own good, you know, “to keep us safe from the bad guys.”
If I am spied on, arrested and thrown in jail indefinitely, have my free speech curtailed, am not allowed to show my displeasure at the government, and finally I can be killed at the pleasure of the government, does it really matter if it was done by “bad guys” the or the “good guys?”
So, what do we do about it? Well let’s look at the ways that we have up to this point used to express our displeasure with the federal government.
I think it was best said by Joel Poindexter in This time, let’s do something that works!
Unhappy with the direction the country has been moving, there is a large and growing constituency of voters who are in search of a solution, or remedy, if you will. Some have caught onto the fact that voting bums out only gets us more bums, but most are convinced that we just need the right bums in charge. Apparently the last 1800 senators and 10,000 representatives weren’t enough to convince these voters that perhaps there’s more to the problem than just the people in charge.
I got a little more of the “we need new bums” when I sat through another sound bite a minute candidates forum for U.S. Congress. I’m not saying these people were not sincere, but what’s with the “I have a (fill in the number) point plan” that lists all these things that they will repeal when they get to Washington? What is the office they are running for, dictator? The last I knew, they would be just be one of 435 Representatives, and they would need to convince a majority of them and the Senate and the President to repeal some of this stuff. Let’s face it, that’s not likely!
So that’s it – just elect me and all will be well, and you can all just sit back relax, cause I have got it covered!
Option one has worked out well so far hasn’t it?
You have seen this dozens of times and it usually is accompanied with a plea for a donation to “our group so that we can reach even more people to spread the word.” Option two is petition, protest, and lobby, or let’s just call it what it really is, beg your federal congressman.
Well, let’s see the success rate on that one using the biggest expansion of the federal government beyond the bounds of the Constitution in perhaps American history, with its encroachment on your freedom – Obamacare. Phone calls, petitions and Town Hall protests were running hundreds if not thousands to one against this legislation, did it stop it? No, of course not. There was too much backdoor wheeling and dealing, and political arm twisting, and your opinion just didn’t really matter.
Option two not working out either, so what is next?
Now this one will work, right? It’s got to because we are out of options, right? So, here goes, it’s that tried and true option three, the one that never fails to save our freedoms from the overreaching federal government – litigate/sue! Or in everyday parlance, beg the federal courts.
Don’t you just love all this begging?
What could go wrong with this option? We go hat in hand to federal judges (lawyers) who were nominated by the President (federal government) and confirmed by the Senate (federal government) with life time appointments to the Judiciary (federal government), who are collecting a federal government paycheck and ask them to limit the power of the federal government.
Really, that is it – option three. Nobody out their sees the flaw in this option? When you do not win in the courts what is the battle cry? Well just wait till “we” have control of the presidency and the Senate and then we will get the judges we want.
Please refer back to option one.
So far option #3 is not working out. But maybe instead of options we really should be calling these what they are, strikes – as in strike 3 and you are out!
Just submit to your federal overlords because they know best, your opinion is not needed here: just move along! Maybe it is best stated by C. S. Lewis,
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Now you can waste a lot of time and energy trying these three options that only will work if they will let you win which is not likely, but I like to just jump to the option that will work whether they like it or not, it is what any three year old can do just say, NO!
First a few quotes from the founders who were seeking ratification of the Constitution to set the stage for just saying NO!
Henry Lee, “It goes on the principal that all power is in the people, and that rulers have no powers but what are enumerated in that paper. When a question arises with respect to the legality of any power, exercised or assumed by Congress, it is plain on the side of the governed. Is it enumerated in the Constitution? If it be, it is legal and just. It is otherwise arbitrary and unconstitutional.”
George Nicholas, “the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”
Even before the Constitution was ratified it was understood that the states, and ultimately the people, and not the new general government, were in charge. Later this understanding was expounded upon by two of our most famous founders.
“and that in case of a 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.”- James Madison, Virginia Resolutions, 1798
The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798-99 were based on the ideas of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wherein it is stated: “… 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 color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.”
The best way to tell you what interposition or nullification is, is by telling you what it is not.
“Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling. Nullification is not the petitioning of the federal government to start doing or to stop doing anything. Nullification doesn’t depend on any federal law being repealed. Nullification does not require permission from any person or institution outside of one’s own state. “
If that is what it is not, then what is nullification?
“Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.”
“Nullification carries with it the force of state law. It cannot be legally repealed by Congress without amending the US Constitution. It cannot be lawfully abolished by an executive order. It cannot be overruled by the Supreme Court. It is the people of a state asserting their constitutional rights by acting as a political society in their highest sovereign capacity. It is the moderate, middle way that wisely avoids harsh remedies like secession on the one hand and slavish, unlimited submission on the other. It is the constitutional remedy for unconstitutional federal laws.“ Nullification: It’s Official by Derek Sheriff
That is the essence of Option #4. It only requires state legislators and a governor that will to stand up for their citizens. Now the question: have YOU elected people to your state that will stand up for the Tenth Amendment, State Sovereignty and your rights?
And one final quote from Samuel Adams for those who don’t want to stand up to the federal government and assert their God given rights,
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom – go home from us in peace. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”