Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Impending Showdown

A battle is brewing. A majority of the states have passed symbolic resolutions reclaiming their sovereignty from the federal government. The reason they have done this is because many Americans, including many state legislators, feel the federal government has overstepped its proper, limited role.

The health care initiative currently in Congress is merely the latest example. With the debate on health care reform we see an obvious Socialist agenda at work, accompanied by numerous and incredible denials that it is Socialism. And so, with a federal agenda at work to nationalize many aspects of American life (health care on the way, but we already have nationalized banks, an automaker, education and retirement) on the one hand, and states beginning to fight for their constitutional rights to run their own affairs as they see fit (as is stated in the 10th Amendment) on the other hand, we the have makings of a fight.

Though I support the states in this battle, I fear I have chosen the losing side. You see, at issue here is the fact that the federal government is going beyond its constitutional authority. This very fact is what caused this new revolution in the first place, and yet there is a popular assumption that by simply asserting their constitutional right to govern themselves the states can take back the authority usurped by the federal government. But with the Fed already ignoring the 10th Amendment, thereby establishing a long tradition of ignoring states rights, I have to wonder why would the federal government start recognizing its constitutional boundaries now?

Even now, with the growing movement to reclaim state sovereignty, the U.S. Congress and President Obama are still pushing hard to nationalize America's health care as if there were no reason to reconsider or even to slow down what they are doing. So far, the constitutionally sound new revolution is proving ineffective. The Fed is still ignoring the fact it is ignoring the 10th Amendment.

A showdown is imminent. States are increasingly insistent the 10th Amendment should be respected. The Socialist movement dominating our federal government leads it to interpret the "general welfare" clause in as broad a way as possible; this time, rather than ignoring constitutional language, it is a phrase of the constitution taken literally, ignoring the numerous clarifications written by our founders.

* James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson:
With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the "Articles of Confederation," and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted.

* In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-- James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)

* "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

What we have here is a modern tradition in the federal government of ignoring original understandings of and original language in the constitution. This is done not by accident, but for the purpose of achieving particular agendas. In this climate, with blatant disregard for the constitution, why would the federal government allow the states to reclaim their sovereignty?

The tools of semantic acrobatics and historical ignorance have played a major role in creating the current attitude among so many politicians elected to federal office. This government-dependent mindset permeates our culture as well, and so Socialist sentiments from the people fuel Socialist agendas in Washington. The fact this federal takeover has lasted and grown more bold over several generations speaks to the high degree of damage already done to our republic and to the American appreciation of federalism.

Even now we have evidence indicating what the federal reaction will be to the new revolution: branding anyone who disagrees with the Socialist agenda as extremist.

At, in Town halls gone wild Alex Isenstadt evidently takes sides in the growing controversy. In this article, Isenstadt is sure to let us know protesters to this Socialist agenda are angry. He even interviews several Democrats to let us know how afraid they are for their safety.

Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.

You see, letting the government go wild is perfectly okay, because it's largely done with civility (for now). But the protesters are showing their anger and appear rude, and that's just not acceptable to the elitist. The fact that federal politicians are acting unconstitutionally and depriving the states and the people of their constitutional freedoms by taking over aspects of American life it should never be involved with are immaterial. Showing anger is interpreted as being extremist, and therefore dangerous. And what is the career politician to do with this?

“I had felt they would be pointless,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to suspend the events in his Long Island district. “There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.”

And Rep. Bishop isn't the only one who feels this way:

Bishop isn’t the only one confronted by boiling anger and rising incivility. At a health care town hall event in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this month, police were called in to restore order, and at least one heckler was taken away by local police. Close to 100 sign-carrying protesters greeted Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) at a late June community college small-business development forum in Panama City, Fla. Last week, Danville, Va., anti-tax tea party activists claimed they were “refused an opportunity” to ask Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-Va.) a question at a town hall event and instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property after they attempted to hold up protest signs.

The elitist reaction to this genuine and sincere dissent is to ignore it, because they deem it "unruly". It apparently doesn't occur to these Democrats that they are doing something inappropriate in supporting federal overgrowth.

Democrats, acknowledging the increasing unruliness of the town-hall-style events, say the hot-button issues they are taking on have a lot to do with it.

Ah yes, it's the "hot-button issues" that cause this outrage, not the fact that government has grown beyond it's constitutional limits. At least these politicians acknowledge the problem is not that people disagree, it's that people are angry, but they have to change their attitude about it before discourse can continue.

Bishop continues in his self delusion that growing government and diminishing individual freedom are not the cause of the protests:

“I think in general what is going on is we are tackling issues that have been ignored for a long time, and I think that is disruptive to a lot of people,” said Bishop, a four-term congressman. “We are trying, one by one, to deal with a set of issues that can’t be ignored, and I think that’s unsettling to a lot of people.”

Thankfully there are some reasonable reactions in Washington to these protests. I don't know if they are any less self delusional, but at least these Democrats are willing to listen to their upset constituents. Isenstadt continues:

“Town halls are a favorite part of my job,” said Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), a third-term congressman from St. Louis who noted that a “handful” of disruptions had taken place at his meetings. “It’s what I do. It’s what I will continue to do.”

“People have gotten fired up and all that, but I think that’s what makes town halls fun,” said Perriello, a freshman who is among the most vulnerable Democrats in 2010. “I think that most of the time when we get out there, it’s a good chance for people to vent and offer their thoughts. It’s been good.”

“I enjoy it, and people have a chance to speak their mind,” he said.

I'm glad to see there is no monolithic government reaction in this case. There is more than a simple party-line divide, even on the Democrat side there are reasonable politicians and elitists. But which group rules in Congress?

I think many people believe the reasonable politicians outnumber the elitists. If they are right, most politicians will acknowledge the fact their jobs depend on the approval of their constituents. But the elites have figured out they can bribe many of their constituents with promises of government hand outs, which makes it easier for them to bully the dissenters into silence (such as by treating dissent, angry or not, as extremist).

Political precedent shows us the louder voice tends to win. In the recent past the Socialist agenda has won a great deal of political ground and still has tremendous momentum. With the political game played as it is I fear the American people will suffer much more damage and lose far more freedom before any real progress is made to push back against federal overgrowth. By then will it be too late?

I think the political game will continue to drag this country to the left as long as the political rules remain unchanged. No amount of symbolic gestures and resolutions will accomplish any real goal. And the further left we go, the fewer rights the people and the states will retain. It's time to fight for real change, something that proved its immeasurable value for more than a century: allowing the states to have representation in Congress. If you want to restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th Amendment.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The 10th Amendment was great idea

Should a people blindly trust their government? I worry that as long as Democrats control the Congress and the Presidency the answer is yes. Apparently even disagreeing with Democrats is considered unpatriotic:

Despite all logic, the many calls and efforts for the federal government to take over as much of the private sector as possible seem to be met with little resistance. Thankfully there is growing conservative resistance to federal takeover, a takeover which many Americans would call a Marxist or Socialist movement. This resistance includes grassroots Republicans, Democrats and others alike, all in the name of the Tenth Amendment. This "second revolution" as some call it has spread even to state legislatures and governors, evidenced by their publicly reclaiming the constitutionally recognized sovereignty of their states, also citing the 10th Amendment to the constitution.

But one problem with this common sense revolution is that all the calls for change and returning the government to its people are largely symbolic. Even the fairly recent sovereignty resolutions of 36 states had no legal power. The rules of the political game are unchanged. The Tenth Amendment is actually part of our constitution, yet has been ignored for decades. And why shouldn't it be ignored, what incentive have our elected representatives to honor it? If an entire amendment to that venerable document can be utterly disregarded and done so with the blessing of tens of millions of voters who want the government to take care of them, how are we to trust any future claims by those representatives that they will turn away from an obviously politically lucrative status quo?

In the modern American tradition we should expect calls for new legislation to compel the Congress to recognize and honor the 10th Amendment for each new law they make. That is, after all, the result of this leftist training we have endured for so long: let the government regulate the problem away - though rarely does such a thing ever actually happen. But a problem arises here - why should a law be required to force Congress to do what the constitution already says? They have ignored it for so long, and we the people (and the states) have allowed Congress to ignore that amendment for so long what possible reason is there to believe anything will change with a wave of public pressure, which is no doubt sincere but likely temporary?

Let me propose an alternate approach. Rather than find new laws to accomplish the desired goal, why not repeal some? Or better yet, start with only one.

The men who invented the United States were well aware of the slow, creeping tyranny of government. They knew that without a balance between the people, their representatives, and federal power capable of doing what ever the representatives wanted, despite any input from the people, federal power would usurp anything it could.

James Madison, widely considered the author of Federalist No. 63, describes exactly why the Senate was necessary. In this paper the writer does not discuss only the importance of a bicameral Congress, with the powers of making law divided into two separate houses. Here, Madison also describes the vital importance of tempering the passions of the people, who can be lied to and tricked into supporting legislation they themselves would later regret. Madison says:

Thus far I have considered the circumstances which point out the necessity of a well-constructed Senate only as they relate to the representatives of the people. To a people as little blinded by prejudice or corrupted by flattery as those whom I address, I shall not scruple to add, that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions. As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought, in all governments, and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind?

I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments, as well ancient as modern; and which render extreme circumspection necessary, in reasoning from the one case to the other. But after allowing due weight to this consideration, it may still be maintained, that there are many points of similitude which render these examples not unworthy of our attention. Many of the defects, as we have seen, which can only be supplied by a senatorial institution, are common to a numerous assembly frequently elected by the people, and to the people themselves. There are others peculiar to the former, which require the control of such an institution. The people can never wilfully betray their own interests; but they may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people; and the danger will be evidently greater where the whole legislative trust is lodged in the hands of one body of men, than where the concurrence of separate and dissimilar bodies is required in every public act.

And here, after indicating ancient governments knew well the importance of representative government rather than direct democracy, Madison warns that the failures of the ancient representative governments were linked to the fact that the very officers elected to represent the people in government transcended their representing roles, and essentially cut off connections with the people in order to form an aristocracy for themselves.

From these facts, to which many others might be added, it is clear that the principle of representation was neither unknown to the ancients nor wholly overlooked in their political constitutions. The true distinction between these and the American governments, lies IN THE TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE PEOPLE, IN THEIR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY, from any share in the LATTER, and not in the TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE from the administration of the FORMER.

How true: that the governed "may possibly be betrayed by the representatives of the people" and that allowing a governing body comprising elected representatives could easily devolve into "the total exclusion of the people". Madison was warning Americans about the dangers of career politicians. What Madison is talking about here is the necessity of having a Senate comprising two members of each state, chosen by the legislatures there of. Originally, in the American Constitution, the Senate was accountable to the states, not to the people, as was the House of Representatives. And being accountable to the states made the Senate less susceptible to the whims of fickle and flamboyant popular movements, because the Senate's constituents were their states' legislators. But with the ratification of the 17th Amendment this changed: now the Senate would be just as dependent on placating and pandering to the people as was the House, until they could assume so much authority they could pretend any disagreement between Senators and a citizen automatically meant the citizen "didn't understand" the situation.

The benefits of having a cool headed Senate ready to slow down the heat of public sentiment and allow reason to dominate any given situation has long been lost. With the 1913 amendment in place the states lost their representation in the federal government. Now any special interest, any lobbyist or popular and temporary wave of fury could influence both houses of Congress equally. And when so many people want the government to take control of an issue there is now no one left to protect the states' rights against federal usurpation. Today we are seeing the results of this tragedy. A federal government which took control of public education and forced us into Social Security has now taken over banking and largely the automotive industry. And taking over our health care is just around the corner.

As big a deal as it is to ignore the 10th Amendment, sadly this is a symptom of a much larger problem. Until the balance of power is restored by repealing the 17th Amendment I fear there will be no stopping the effort to turn the United States into a socialist nation in which we all have so many rights and entitlements that we the people can no longer do anything. In the American government, the ratification of the 17th Amendment spelled the death of the 10th Amendment. Before 1913 Senators responsible to their respective states respected and protected the 10th Amendment, and all the implications that go with it. Without this dynamic of the balance of power federalism is doomed, as is the freedom of the people.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

U.S. Constitution Key Concepts

Four short videos on the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Thanks to Craig Seibert for these videos.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Party We Can Trust

Let's face it, presently there is no effective difference between the Republican and Democrat parties. The end results of their agendas are essentially the same: moving the United States toward Marxism. The pace at which this tragedy occurs is of little relevance.

Since the 2006 elections, when Democrats took control of both chambers of Congress, it has been widely said the conservative movement is dead. This concept was bolstered with the 2008 elections, with Democrats again picking up more seats in the House and Senate, not to mention the Presidency. For a matter of months after that there were many suggestions the losses suffered by the Republican Party proved it should abandon its conservative base. There were also statements such as "The Reagan era is over." Thankfully, the left wing narrative does not establish the reality of the situation.

Conservatives have been analyzing and investigating the past two elections as well. Right wing understanding of Republican losses is strikingly different from the left wing calls for Republicans to essentially remake themselves in the image of Democrats. Conservative think tanks, pundits, commentators and the like seem to have reached a consensus on the fact that the nature of the Republican Party is in flux, but there are many theories as to what this actually means.

Other than calls to liberalize the Party there is also a movement urging conservatives to abandon the Republican Party for something more true to conservative values. In IS 2008 THE YEAR CONSERVATIVES ABANDON THE GOP? Pastor Chuck Baldwin encourages conservatives to vote for a third political party during major elections, such as the Constitution Party. I personally know people who decided to abstain from voting in the 2008 elections altogether. The fear of the ultra left Barack Obama (often touted as a "moderate" and even "conservative" by left wing pundits so far in left field they can no longer find any extremists to the left of themselves) helped push some of those conservatives to reluctantly vote for Senator John McCain.

Despite the many calls to move left or to abandon the party there is another option. A very popular assumption is that the Republican Party has reached the point of no return: either it must move left to survive, or it will never return to its conservative roots and therefore must be allowed to die. But I believe a third option is more likely to provide the competition needed to defeat Democrats at the polls in future elections.

I do not (yet) accept the presumption the Republican Party cannot be rescued. Another well received theory (mainly by grassroots conservatives) is that the 2006 and 2008 elections did not signal the end of conservatism. In fact, the vast majority of Republicans who lost those elections were not conservative, but "moderate" or "progressive" Republicans. To some of us this phenomenon suggests the Republican losses were a signal that grassroots conservatives desired true conservative candidates, and given the choice between a liberal Democrat and a left leaning Republican, liberals and moderates chose the genuine liberal. Grassroots conservatives had few inspiring candidates, so the Republican base was out performed at the polls.

That's why John McCain actually had a fighting chance during the 2008 presidential race. Not because he inspired the American people, but because Sarah Palin did. Never have I seen such vitriol and hate speech spewed from the left and even the main stream news media as I have seen dumped on Palin. Sara Palin's inspiring life story, of a middle America woman moving up through the political ranks and achieving the governorship of Alaska, was relentlessly ridiculed and mocked. Even today, before and after her announcement to resign as governor, Palin is still viciously attacked as if she were still running for a national level political office.

And what merited this widespread hate speech directed at Palin? She spoke of family values, defending our country and returning the role of the federal government to a more limited capacity as was intended by the men who invented the United States. This is the "extremist" philosophy the self proclaimed sophisticates found so repugnant. Even months after the election, before her announcement to resign from office, in her largely invisible political state of governing Alaska left wing commentators and journalists still attacked Sarah Palin as if she were an enemy of the state.

In a way, she was and is. Palin opposes a statist mentality, where all problems are deemed the responsibility of government to fix. The notion that the government's responsibility is to take care of the people is largely the vehicle by which government has robbed the people of so many freedoms enjoyed by previous generations of Americans. Palin respects the 10th Amendment to our constitution, which declares the federal government can do only what is explicitly spelled out for it to do, which does not include retirement, education and certainly not health care.

I don't like the way our government has handled Social Security or public eduction, and I certainly don't want to let that government take control of health care. I would be very excited to see a Republican candidate in the 2010 and 2012 elections espousing these beliefs. Please notice I have only mentioned a few big picture concerns. I'm not demanding specific, small issues be addressed. I believe a government adequately restricted in its power will cause fewer problems for its people and allow the rest of us greater opportunity to help ourselves and our neighbors.

Many Americans agree with me that a properly limited government is vital to the survival of individual liberty, and that the current state of affairs in America suffers an oppressive and heavy hand of a federal government that has stepped far beyond its proper limited role.

Another major, big picture, issue which needs mentioning is the right to life. A friend of mine told me he would have easily voted for John McCain in the 2008 election, despite other objections, if McCain had a less ambiguous pro-life record. This is a friend who had decided to abstain from voting that year, but was inspired to vote in the presidential race simply by listening to the promises of Barack Obama. My friend had no candidate he wanted to vote for, but the Marxian ideas promoted by then Senator Obama motivated him to vote against the Democrat agenda, something which could have been accomplished much quicker had McCain's pro-life record been better (unfortunately, he voted for a third party candidate). Constitutional protection is afforded to terrorists captured on the battle field, but not to unborn children. I would like to see the 14th Amendment expanded (particularly the phrase "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws") to also apply to children in the womb.

I will mention only a third big picture issue here. The last is the fact that government's proper role of protecting its people is being severely neglected. Instead of taking the war against terrorists seriously, and instead of adequately guarding our borders, our government is playing politically correct games with domestic terrorism, treating right wing groups as dangerous. This is how propaganda and political pandering become public policy. One group turns their political opponents into public enemies. And this occurs under the auspices of protecting the people from threats to their safety. Currently many Americans worry the real terrorist threat is being neglected with this left wing politrick at play.

As long as the federal government offers a social safety net the issue of illegal immigrants benefiting from that safety net will be concerning to many Americans. What's worse, our borders are so under guarded and immigration laws so pitifully enforced that many of us wonder what is there, if anything, to stop Islamo-facist terrorists from continually infiltrating our country.

To summarize, my basics list for an adequate political candidate are:
* support limited government
* be anti-abortion
* be serious about protecting us from foreign invasion and/or attack

With these three requirements met I've no doubt a political candidate would steer the country back in the direction of respecting and protecting the freedom of the people. But why would a politician of this political flavor have any significant influence? Because “Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group, according to a June 15 Gallup poll. So how do we turn the reality of this poll into reality in government? One theory has already been achieved, which occurred at the polls in the most recent two elections: getting rid of lukewarm Republicans. This frees up room for genuinely conservative candidates.

I have another idea that I think will help. The stated goal of this idea is not itself the mission. The process of accomplishing the goal is the mission. Who but genuinely conservative politicians would commit to my three requirements? With the details of many issues come varying opinions and disagreement. I'm confident my short list of general qualifications will meet little objection from main stream conservatives. If I'm right, political candidates proudly professing these sentiments will have a much better chance of winning elections than their opponents. And if my idea is actually accomplished we will restore a vital element of what was so brilliant in the founding of our nation.

But one lesson politicians seem incapable of learning is that rhetoric doesn't win hearts or minds for the long term. It may sway people for a short while, but eventually empty promises turn people off entirely. That friend I mention earlier also holds this opinion:

It would take quite a bit for the GOP to win my trust again. Much more than campaign promises or verbally taking a certain position on certain issues. Talk is cheap in politics. It will take political action, not words, for me to support a GOP candidate again.

My idea is for exactly such action. Click the link below to read about it. All the political promises in the world are worthless if you can't stop the nation's foundation from being eroded.

The 17th Amendment and the Balance of Federal Power

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The 17th Amendment and the Balance of Federal Power

From my grassroots perspective I see a great deal of frustration among conservative voters. Some have given up on the political process by ignoring current events, and some outright refuse to vote any more. In trying to figure out what has exasperated so many grassroots conservatives I believe I have found a common theme. The greatest frustration seems to be so many Republicans appear to be no different from Democrats. True or not, this seems to be the perception.

For many conservatives the idea that Republicans elected to office (federal or state levels) tout their ability to slow the progress of a left wing agenda seems like a shallow victory, at best. Then there are calls for the Republican Party to abandon its conservative origins and embrace a more moderate attitude, which is precisely the approach Senator John McCain employed to lose the 2008 presidential election.

And now with the sprint toward Marxism that has caught the nation there are concerns over where federal power will end, if ever. One question I have is, if federal power continues to usurp individual and states rights, does it matter anymore if Republicans win governorships or seats in Congress?

In any case, the battle to take back our country is, of course, multi-faceted. I have a proposal on the matter.

If the goal is to stop and even reverse the left leaning trend in our nation there should be certain mile markers to that endeavor. One such marker is explained below in an idea I've been considering for some time. While most of the ideas I've heard of late for a conservative agenda have been designed for more immediate and specific issues, this proposal is of a broader and more general nature. If this idea would ever become a reality I'm sure it would help a great deal in reclaiming America from the Marxian push and restore constitutional limitations that protect individual liberty.

But first, a political party must be devoted to this endeavor. And to form (or retake) that party, it must have the trust of the voters. My idea for regaining that trust is as follows.


The 17th Amendment and the Balance of Federal Power

One of the many brilliant aspects of the American experiment is the fact that our founding fathers had the foresight to provide for the balance of powers. I believe the men who invented the United States of America set up this vital element of successful federalism into three dimensions, one of which is entirely neglected in our contemporary American society.

The first dimension of this separation of powers was the fact that individual liberty stems from God, not from government. The understanding that government does not create individual rights, but is instead to secure them, was the first line of defense against encroaching government power - an innate human respect for the nature of liberty.

A second dimension of balancing government power was settled in a triune system, dividing government power into three separate branches: executive, legislative and judicial. However, this mechanism applies only to the employment of federal power. The states indeed were left to construct their own separate governments and these were typically modeled on the federal example, but a major concern of our founders was that the power of the states could eventually be absorbed into a monolithic federal bureaucracy.

The third dimension of separating the power of government, which I believe is entirely neglected today, is of a more elemental nature. With the ultimate recognition of God’s sovereignty on the one hand, and the practical concerns of implementing government power on the other we have essentially abandoned the element of government which compliments these two concerns: an intermediary dimension.

What I call the intermediary dimension is simply the fact that federal power is not merely balanced against itself, but also against the other two primary aspects of a federal construct – namely, the people and the states. The people have representation in the government via the Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives. Originally the states also had representation at the federal level of government in the Senate, helping to balance the tension between the popular sentiment of the people and the long reach of federal power. Unfortunately because of the 17th Amendment to our Constitution, the Senate is now elected much like the House of Representatives, being another venue for the people’s passions. What this effectively has done is eliminate states’ representation in our federal government.

The balance between the people, the states, and the federal government was possibly the most subtle aspect of the delicate separation of powers set up by our founders. But because this dynamic was eliminated with the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913 a vital counter weight was lost in the balance of government power, the counter weight between the passions of the people and the heavy hand of the national government. Since 1913 the power of the federal government has grown steadily, while the power of the states to govern their own affairs has dwindled, not to mention the right of the people to live their own lives free of federal meddling. And all this was done largely with the approval of the people.

I believe the repeal of the 17th Amendment is necessary for states to take back the authority usurped by the federal government. Also, without this essential dynamic of balance I fear encroachment on personal liberty by federal bureaucracy will continue unless balance is restored in the Congress of the United States by giving back the right of federal representation to the states.

It would greatly please conservatives to see a major political party undertake this effort. Seeing elected officials fight to stave off the encroachment of their rights would inspire many of us and spark a sense of optimism for the many who have given up on their civic duty. Personally, without restoring adequate balance in Congress by reinstating states' representation, I fear most other efforts to stop the push toward Marxism will prove to be fruitless. As long as the passions of leftists and those obsessed with fairness rule our legislative process I don't see much point in fighting the other battles. Only with the states able to protect their own sovereignty (limited though it may be) can the Marxist push be balanced.

I do not mean to suggest common sense would rule, though that would be a pleasant surprise. I only expect the powerful interests of the states to balance the trend of a left leaning populace sacrificing their own rights for the empty promises of a federal hand out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

America the Christian Nation

David Barton gives a fabulous talk on the Christian origins of the United States. This is a fourth of July message all Americans need to see. This playlist includes 5 videos totaling approximately 1 hour of viewing.

Thanks to OmniChristianVids2 for posting this video.