It’s about federalism, stupid!

By WND Staff

In the saddest and scariest poll I’ve ever seen: Only 51 percent of Americans would vote to ratify the U.S. Constitution if given the chance. Apparently, the document that has guaranteed people more freedom, happiness and opportunity than any other isn’t good enough for us today.

Instead, we’d prefer to tack on our own special interests. The feminists would insist upon establishing a woman’s right to suck out her unborn child’s brain through a tube. The Christians would want to constitutionally mandate prayer in schools. The potato farmers would want to guarantee that they can sell their potatoes for a dollar apiece.

If Americans were responsible for establishing a constitution today, we’d have nothing more than a conglomerate of conflicting special interests loosely bound out of fear for one another.

That’s not the America I love.

In the America I love, the power of the federal government is limited. The Supreme Court can’t arbitrarily create rights or interpret nonexistent laws. Congress can’t legislate outside the limits of the Constitution. States have real and enforceable power. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

But in the America I live in, special interests and power-hungry politicians have divided our precious freedoms among themselves, selling out our heritage in favor of political expediency. Hundreds of backbiting groups try to claim more and more rights for themselves, denying others their essential, fundamental rights in the process.

Where in the world did we get the idea that every child has a “right” to public education? Show me in the Constitution where it declares our “right” to public housing!

By seeking after the good things, we’ve traded the best things. They’ve stolen our freedom while we distracted ourselves with the side issues.

As much as anyone would like to claim, passing welfare reform, balancing the budget and ending partial-birth abortions aren’t the most pressing issues facing our country today. These fights are mere symptoms of a foundational cancer eating away at America’s livelihood.

The real problem is how we’ve traded our republic for a democracy. It’s how 90 percent of our federal government operates without the authority of the Constitution. It’s how mob rule and public sentiment determine what goes on in Washington, instead of wise, God-fearing men who govern according to the nation’s best interest.

Before FDR’s presidency, the word democracy was seldom used to describe our system of government. That’s precisely because our founding fathers went out of their way to note that what’s popular isn’t necessarily what’s right. They custom-built our Constitution to avoid majority rule, but today’s poll-driven climate undermines that foundation.

Roosevelt, a president known for his blatant disregard for the Constitution almost as much as for his unconstitutional programs, epitomizes the modern Democrat. The power of the federal government is unlimited, they argue, as long as it’s helping people.

Well, woo-hoo! The government is helping people, didn’t you hear? We intend to make our country better!

It’s too bad that good intentions pave the road to hell.

Since the New Deal, the size of the federal government has inflated faster than a politician’s ego. Instead of being involved in every necessary work, the government is now involved in every good work (as well as tons of bad work). The result: Millions of American’s depend on the federal government for their basic and essential sustenance. They not only crave the government’s welfare payments, but they also subsist on new and imaginative rights the government has created, lucrative and self-seeking laws Congress has enacted and loophole-laden, pockmarked tax rules we’ve established for ourselves.

So what does the Constitution say about the environment, gay rights, abortion, health services, education, drug control, food regulation, condom distribution, animal rights and prohibition? Absolutely nothing, except that the federal government has no power to regulate those things. The states are responsible for that kind of stuff (see the 10th Amendment).

I don’t know where we got the idea that we should cede these powers to the federal government, but it’s time to go back to the Constitution. The abortionists are right on one thing: True freedom exists only when you have a choice. If you ask me who should be making those choices, the federal government or my beloved home state, I won’t have to think long.


Matthew T. Joe is a student at the University of Georgia pursuing bachelors’ degrees in Religion and Journalism and a master’s degree in Biblical Studies.