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I have a question for all of today’s Democrats – from Barack Obama and Harry Reid to those grass-roots yellow dogs queuing up eagerly for “free health care” around the country.
Here’s my question: Do you believe there are any limitations on what the federal government can or should do under the Constitution of the United States?
It’s a serious question.
I would love hearing from you. In fact, I’d love hearing from Republicans out there because too many of them only give lip service to the constitutional principle of “limited government.”
When the nation was founded, the Constitution strictly limited the powers of the federal government to those enumerated in the document. Since then, as government is prone to do, Washington has chipped away at the limits on its power until we reached a point in the 21st century when no one even mentions “limited government” any longer.
But this is a special problem for Democrats.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Democrats respected and revered the Constitution. In fact, a friend just told me about something he found recently – an official program from the 1936 Democratic National Convention held in Philadelphia. On page 27, under the heading, “History of the Democratic Party,” it begins with these words: “The Democratic Party was founded in 1828 by Andrew Jackson on the principles of a strict construction of the Constitution and the limitation of powers of the Federal Government.”
That’s how the Democratic Party was founded. It was the foundation for the party. It was its mission statement. It was the cornerstone of the party’s beliefs and principles.
And that principle was still something Democrats were boasting about in 1936 – at a convention that nominated Franklin Roosevelt for another term as president.
Think about that.
Do any Democrats today still believe in “limited government”?
If so, how is government limited? What are some of the things government just can’t do or just shouldn’t do?
For the life of me, I’ve searched for statements from today’s Democrats invoking constitutional limits on the power of the federal government, and I just can’t find any.
In other words, it would seem, Democrats no longer respect the Constitution’s strict limits on the power of the federal government. In fact, they seem to think that government has a duty and responsibility to actively regulate, tax and manage virtually every facet of American life. That is the new definition of what it means to be a Democrat.
Obviously, this is a very dangerous assumption – completely contrary to the unique constitutional republic founded in the 18th century, one that sought to take the chains off the people and place them on government.
But this is not solely a Democratic Party problem. It’s an American problem.
With only two parties seriously involved in governing for the last 156 years, that means Americans have a choice between Democrats, who are by definition opposed to the Constitution’s limits on federal power, and Republicans, who don’t make this a defining principle of their party any longer.
Do you want to know how America has reached the point at which it is no longer a country under the rule of law? Maybe this is it.
You can watch the news every day in America and never hear any politician – Democrat or Republican – asked about this simple guiding principle of constitutional government. It’s not even a topic of discussion.
How many great speeches have your heard Republicans deliver on “limited government” in the last 20 years? When do you ever see members of Congress challenged on the constitutionality of legislation they propose because it exceeds their authority? Why is it that so few of them give a thought as to constitutional authority for doing what they are doing?
Personally, I’d like to see the federal government permanently shut down until it begins to operate once again under the rules and limits of the Constitution.
How about you?