Thursday, October 15, 2009

States' Rights

I believe that the founders of our country felt that a limited Federal government was the right thing to insure the success of the new Republic. It is also obvious to me that they felt that most government should be at the State level. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution (part of our Bill of Rights) says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In the Federalist Papers, Number 17, Hamilton responds to the objection that the new Constitution would allow the Federal government the ability to assume too much power by enacting laws that should stay at the State level. His answer to this argument makes it clear that we should have a limited Federal government (although clearly Hamilton had no idea of the mere wantonness and lust of domination our modern politicians would demonstrate.) Hamilton felt that the Federal government should be concerned with interstate and international commerce, finance, negotiation and war. Congress is way too busy for its own good. They debate so many laws, and meddle in so many things that they should have no interest in (mostly trivial), that very little gets done. And even fewer good things. They admit that they do not have time to even read the bills they are passing. The individual States should rise up and demand that they be given back the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

I highly recommend that every American read "The Federalist" by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. It should be required reading for every 7th grader and every 12th grader, for it explains what our founding fathers were thinking when they fought for our freedoms and wrote our Constitution.

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