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SENTRY JOURNAL » Federalism, Fred Thompson, Gulf Oil Spill, Obamacare, States Rights, Video » A Spoonful of Federalism

A Spoonful of Federalism

Sometimes we get caught up in the events of the day and lose our way.  It’s easy to do in this current political climate when one issue after another is falling on us like an avalanche.  It seems that each day we are faced with some sort of encroachment on our liberties by a federal government that will not take no for an answer.  When the people said we don’t want Obamacare, they ignored the will of the people and rammed it through.  When the people demanded that we need our boarders protected, they ignored the will of the people and failed to enforce our immigration laws.  And who can forget how the President threatened congress to pass Cap and Trade or he would have the EPA start regulating greenhouse gases directly challenging the Congress’s authority.  We can go on with the government takeover of the banks and auto industry, but you get the point.  States are now viewed as subservient to the federal government.  In the eyes of this administration they have very little standing to challenge the federal government or solve problems on their own.  When they do it’s an all out attack to isolate and marginalize them.  As one who has read the federalist papers and anti-federalist papers I know what our Founders would think of this massive expansion of government.  They would say that the government is acting outside of the scope of their 17 enumerated powers.

It took some time, but over the last 100 years politicians and the courts have found ways to diminish the power of the states and completely ignore the limitations our Constitution has placed upon them.  Using broad interpretations of the Commerce Clause over the years, the government has declared pretty much everything we do as commerce and therefore falls within the scope of their authority.  Rarely have they been challenged.  Slowly the powers of the states were stripped away and in 1913 the 16th and 17th amendments were ratified furthering diminishing their powers.  We can thank the progressives for that, after all they were proponents of a bigger government with more centralize control over the states.  What would the Founders think about the state of federalism we currently enjoy?  The fact is that the Founders believed that most of the powers rested with the states and that the government’s powers were extremely limited.  Even the Founders that were the staunchest advocates of a more centralized government would be aghast with what we have become.  The federal government was never supposed to become a player in the game; they were supposed to be the referee, nothing more.  And yet today we find quite the opposite is true.

You see the Founders knew that the federal government, no matter how big could NOT effectively manage the day to day business of each state.  It wasn’t designed to do so.  An example of this is with Arizona and their new immigration enforcement law.  The people of Arizona are facing an illegal immigration problem that not only drains their resources, but threatens their citizens.  These are problems (with the exception of other boarder states) that are unique to Arizona, so therefore they should be within their constitutional rights to enact legislation that will help enforce the national law and protect their citizens.  The federal government has failed to enforce national immigration laws, so those elected to protect the interests and lives of their citizens in Arizona acted.  This should be a slam dunk…shouldn’t it?  Well that’s not how the federal government sees it.  They believe that Arizona overstepped their authority.  What constitutional grounds are they basing this off of?

Below is a short clip of Fred Thompson talking about federalism.

The same can be said with Obamacare and forcing people to engage commerce.  Where in the Constitution does the commerce clause authorize the government to direct people to engage in an action of commerce or face a fine?  For me this does not pass the constitutional smell test and I’m not alone in my thinking.  As of May 20th a few dozen states are now saying the same thing.  Some are even putting it to a vote this November to block Obamacare completely.

Maybe in the end this is exactly the medicine that this nation needs; a spoon full of federalism.  Maybe states need to take a fresh look at their relationship with the federal government and vice versa.  We have already witnessed first hand how the federal government cannot meet the needs of the people at the local level.  They have failed miserably in the response to the gulf oil disaster and they have failed miserably in enforcing our immigration laws.  So as I see it the time is now for states to start exercising their constitutional authority and start solving problems at the local level.  The cookie cutter approach simply will not work for all states because each state has different problems.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a place at the table for a federal government, just one that remains within the boundaries created by the Constitution.

We all have unique issues that require different approaches.  And when those issues are in the hands of the people directly affected by them, usually the best solutions are identified and implemented.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


Filed under: Federalism, Fred Thompson, Gulf Oil Spill, Obamacare, States Rights, Video

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  • Fuzzy Slippers June 1, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Excellent post. Now if only we could convince democrats that the progressive agenda is not what they think it is in either motivation or goal.

  • Gorges Smythe June 1, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    If America tolerates it, then America deserves it. Time will tell.

  • Trestin Meacham June 1, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    The states are the key to fixing everything. A lot of people think that bringing the Republicans into power will fix everything, but it will not. The only way to fix things, is to have the Federal government move it's scope of influence into constitutional levels.

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    I'm with you Fuzzy. The Democrats I know are good people that love their country. They just don't realize yet that their party has been hijack by leftist.

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 5:53 AM

    Kinda like we deserve the government we get Gorges.

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 5:54 AM

    The states are the key to it all Trestin. This is why they have the power to call a convention. The problem is that more and more states are becoming addicted to the government cheese.

  • Right Hand Man June 1, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    *sniff* You played that Fred! video for me didn't you? 🙂 Oh how I tried to get that man into the White House!

  • Kristin June 1, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    I've been reading a lot of Thomas Jefferson lately and love this from the Kentucky Resolutions:

    Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force

    So much of what the federal government controls is "void" and "of no force" yet we continue to let them usurp the rights of the states and the people!

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Just for you Right…

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Thanks for dropping by Kristin. Thomas Jefferson is actually my favorite Founding Father, if I had ot choose one. He was a huge proponent of states rights and limited government.

    He believed that the rights of the states and the people were tied together. I wish states would and the people would remember. Maybe this administration is reminding them.

  • Matt June 1, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Excellent post John. My only disagreement is a slight one. We don't need a spoonful of Federalism, we need a truck load!

    Great as always, my friend!

  • John Carey June 1, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Thanks Matt and I do agree we need a truck load, but right now I'll settle for baby steps.