Something has touched a nerve today, I’m not quite sure why. I was sitting her surfing the interwebz when I, again, became annoyed with the political establishment in this country. For several generations now we, the citizenry, have sat back and allowed our government to become extremely top heavy on the Federal end. In some cases, an extremely vocal minority have called for this increase. In most cases, an extremely apathetic majority simply sat back and did nothing.
We have lost something that the founders had enjoyed and come to love. I do not say founders in meaning the Big Boys of American History, but rather the citizens who supported the Big Boys. The citizens of the original 13 Colonies had spent almost 170 official historical years governing themselves. Lifted from the source of all truth and knowledge, Wikipedia – “Each colony developed its own system of self government. The[y]… voted for their local and provincial government.”
Yes, the early years of American history are not the golden age that many on the right try to paint them. They are not, however, the historical arm pit that many on the left try to paint them. It was imperfect, what with indentured servitude and slavery and what not, but it was 17th and 18th Century America. The one thing they truly got right was local government and a citizenry active in that government.
The British government started poking their nose in where the American Colonials felt it didn’t belong. The Americans rebelled, declaring
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The War was fought, the Americans won (with the help of the French who wanted to spite England), and The United States of America was quickly recognized as a nation by Morocco. The people then set out to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….” On September 13, 1788 the United States Constitution was confirmed ratified and the country was set on its historical course.
The US citizenry then fought another war about slavery and about independence in government. For the better, the Union won the War of Northern Aggression and the United States stayed intact, to some extent.
So, what am I rambling on about? “Federalism,” the great American experiment, has changed many, many times over the last 235 years (see the source of all truth and knowledge). The authors of the Declaration of Independence were correct when they said, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” In modern speak, Common sense (because “common sense” has replaced prudence) tells us that when a government has been around for a long time it shouldn’t be changed on a whim. History also shows us that the people will mumble under their breath against government overreaching rather than giving up the entitlements granted while their rights are being trampled.”
Sound familiar? It should, because we are living it! The Federal Government has gotten too large and overstepped its constitutionally set limitations. Several factors are involved, not the least of which is the ever expanding authority of the Executive Branch, the weakness of the Legislative Branch and its relinquishment of authority to the Executive, and the failure of the citizenry to remember that the Judicial Branch exists outside of the Supreme Court (apart from viewing the Judicial as a tool to circumvent the Legislative). I’m not saying that the Federal Department of Education can’t exist, but I am saying that it shouldn’t under our current Federal Constitution. Do you want a Federal Department of Education? Then convince your state legislature, or your Senator or Representative, to make a push for a Constitutional Convention or Constitutional Amendment so that the Federal Department of Education can be instituted properly.
Your role as a citizen is to read and understand the United States Constitution and your State Constitution. If you haven’t read them then you can’t know when your governments are overstepping their bounds and what their constitutional limitations are. When you know these things then you can become active in your community and allow the private sector to do what the government has no authority to do.
Governments are not all powerful. If you think they should be, please remove yourself to Europe. They favor that type of thinking over there. The United States of America was founded on principles of INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. To members of the Right and the Left who have special interests, you are partially at fault for the current state of American politics. The apathetic also hold responsibility, as do the political weasels who have found “public service” to be a career and not service.
There, my rant is over. Return to your regularly scheduled programming.