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Editor’s note: Listen to this column online.

For the benefit of the Department of Homeland Security, Southern Poverty Law Center, MSNBC, all progressives, socialists and outright communists – this article is not about anti-government organizations. It is about organizations filled with members who love the United States of America and are sick and tired of watching its leaders ignore the Constitution, trample individual freedom and impose near-despotic rule.

The emergence of tea party and 9/12 groups across the country are just the first bubbles in a pot that has begun to boil. Thousands of groups have formed and are now monitoring local governments, conducting regular education sessions for their members, locating, grooming and funding candidates, and preparing to rid the nation’s leadership of all officials who display anti-Constitution tendencies.

In Maine, for example, a group has formed called The Fourth Awakening, which says:

Our purpose is to restore the Republic gifted to us in 1776 by our Founding Fathers whose vision we cherish and whose vision we intend to reclaim in full. In essence we reject the ideology of the Marxist progressives, we reject big government; we reject the subversion of our Constitution, our religious and personal rights. …

This group hopes to create a national movement among the states through which each state will create what they call an “Electoral Assembly” which will provide greater participation by citizens in the oversight of candidate selection, elections, lawmaking, rulemaking and the implementation of government.

While many of the ideas expressed by this group may be unrealistic, their passion for a return to the original Republic designed by the founders is quite clear.

Another group in Wyoming is trying to launch a campaign calling on states to initiate nullification legislation. Nullification is the constitutional theory that since states created the federal union, states have the last word in determining whether they will honor laws created by the federal union.

Thomas Woods explains how states can reject unconstitutional federal laws in “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century”

This theory has been tested several times in U.S. history. Current efforts are likely to meet the same fate as previous efforts, but the effort is another bubble in the boiling pot of dissatisfaction with the direction of the federal government.

The nullification initiative hit the nail on the head in its explanation for the campaign:

The sovereign states lost congressional representation of states’ interests in 1913 with the passage of the 17th Amendment, which removed the constitutional right of each state legislature to choose two representatives of state interests, to be seated in the U.S. Senate.

The 17th Amendment is the problem. The solution is to repeal the 17th Amendment. There is no need for states to create “Electoral Assemblies.” There is no need to reinvent the “nullification” wheel. There is a great need to repeal the 17th Amendment, which is likely to be the only realistic way to stop a runaway federal government.

The founders who fought tooth-and-nail for four months in Philadelphia did so because they loved freedom and hated despotism. They knew the only way to prevent a government from becoming despotic was to create multiple power sources and force them to compete, and to require eventual agreement before any new law could be imposed upon the people.

The purpose for having a bicameral legislature was to have two separate constituencies examine proposed legislation. The House of Representatives represented the people; the Senate – chosen by state legislatures – represented the states. These two sources of power had to agree on all legislation before it could go to the president. The president, another power source, had to agree before any proposal could become law.

The 17th Amendment obliterated this carefully designed system by removing the states from participation. What remained was a bicameral legislature representing a single constituency, divided only by party affiliation. Thus began the tug-of-war between two political persuasions for control of the power government possesses. Before the 17th Amendment, the purpose of government was to protect the inherent rights of its citizens and to defend them from all enemies foreign and domestic. After the 17th Amendment, the purpose of government evolved into the enforcement of political theories the ruling party believed to be most suitable for the people.

Stated differently, before the 17th Amendment, people were free to do whatever they wished so long as their freedom did not infringe upon the rights of others. After the 17th Amendment, the federal government became the mechanism through which the party in power could impose its ideas about how people ought to live.

A coalition of organizations has now formed and is now spreading across the nation with the single goal of repealing the 17th Amendment. Tea party and 9/12 groups as well as property-rights and fair-tax groups, gun-rights groups and many others are joining forces to repeal the 17th Amendment in order to once again give states a seat at the federal table.

Only by restoring the states to the federal government process can there be any hope of stopping a runaway federal government.

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