I’m sure most of us “average citizens” feel overwhelmed and powerless against the onslaught of government that has become our recent history. To me, it feels like we are being run over roughshod by a massive bulldozer; it feels like a tornadic onslaught coming at us faster than we can catch our breath before another thing comes. We are hearing about massive spending bills, bank and auto company bailouts, the firing of a private company CEO, and so many other things that the federal government’s very sticky fingers continues to creep into. Many if not most of American citizens are aghast at the encroachment.
That’s why I found this statement by Phil at www.therightsideoflife.com to be so refreshing and a splash of cool water in my face.
“It must be understood by all that only States and the American People have rights; the federal government has none. The federal government only has those powers and authority specifically and expressly enumerated within the Constitution; any and all other such powers and authority are reserved to the States or the People to carry out.” (read the whole post here)
How easy it is to forget this simple principle. Most of us are taught to have respect and deference to our government. And this is a good thing. I try to practice this principle regarding all people equally, not just a select few because they are elected to office. But the simple truth is that our federal government has no rights, except as granted to them by the Constitution. Most of us probably need to brush up on our understanding of the Constitution so that we can see exactly what those rights are. I am not a person who lives by relativism. I like to know what the rules are and then adjust my behavior accordingly. I believe in absolutes; without them society has no bearings, no anchor, but lives by whatever is in vogue at the time. Whether we all believe it or not…there really is an absolute truth. Without it everyone lives in chaos. (I can say this from experience because there was a time in my past when I lived in chaos, without rules; it was not a happy time.)
Our Founding Fathers understood all too well the easy road to tyranny that governments can and will travel on. They wrote the Constitution in such a way that we the people would be protected from an overbearing, dictatorial government system. I like it that way. They were smart guys. Wisdom came from the many of them working together, their prior experience with a dictatorial government helping to guide their wise decisions in setting up this new baby government of the United States.
Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights states: 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 means that the federal government only has the power delegated to it by the Constitution. All other power lies in the hands of the states and the people. This keeps government condensed into its most basic form…in the hands of the people. This is why we are seeing so many Tenth Amendment resolutions going on in the states across our country. It’s their way of saying, “Ok Federal Government, you are crossing the line and we are saying to you, go no further; we reserve these decisions to ourselves and the people of this state. You cannot force your will upon us.” Never have we seen such a massive movement and need to set limits on this current federal administration.
Perhaps, if nothing else at this time, the Constitution will be studied ever the more intensely and debated, true patriotism will experience a new renewal, and a new understanding of our country’s foundations will flourish and preserve us in the years ahead. Debate is good for it brings to the forefront for everyone to see those values that can then be examined and determined if they are found wanting or not. Wisdom and common sense may yet prevail by those serious about the future prosperity of our society and our nation. That’s the Change and Hope I can believe in.