Creeping Federalization and its’ impact on the Country and Georgia Overview The Bill of Rights (Partial) Preamble Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution. RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz. ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution. Amendments Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. The Founding Fathers of our country, upon the adoption of the Constitution, believed in the need for what is now called The Bill of Rights in order to prevent the abuse of power by the Federal Government. Here we are looking only three of these Amendments; the second, the ninth and the tenth Amendments. It was a belief widely held by the Founding Fathers that the several States were Sovereign States and that, in joining together in a Republic named The United States of America, they were not surrendering their sovereignty. Rather they were joining together as sovereign states ceding those rights specifically named in the Constitution to the Federal Government in order to more efficiently provide for the common defense and certain other common needs enumerated within the Constitution. There was little change during the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries. It was not until slavery became an issue greatly dividing the peoples and the States of the United States, that States Rights became an issue. The great divide preceding the War Between the States was both moral and economic and the war was fought primarily on the question of whether or not the Sovereign States had the right to leave the Union. An income tax was passed during the Civil War (The Revenue Act of 1861) which was repealed ten years later. This was the first, but by no means the last, effort of the Federal Government to apply an income tax upon all of the citizens of the several States. With the passage in 1909 of the 16th Amendment established the right of the Federal Government to tax in this manner. It is only now, in the 21st century, that an attempt to replace the income tax with a consumption tax (The Fair Tax) that the power of the Federal Government and its’ representatives to direct the Sovereign States is being challenged. More on this later. The 20th century saw little change until the Labor Relations Act of 1937 and the Child Labor Law established the Federal Government’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The New Deal leading up to WWII began the growth of Federal Power which was greatly extended during the war. The second half of the 20th century saw the Kennedy Minimum Wage Law extending Federal Power even further. The growth of Federal Power has continued to grow ever since. But, it is only in the 21st Century that Federal Power has grown to alarming rates. The advent of 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror and the Patriot Act have caused, perhaps by necessity, the American people to surrender more of our rights than ever before. And the subsequent Administration has begun an unprecedented expansion of Federal Control over the American (notice the American Economy - no longer the economies of the Several States) Economy to ever greater lengths. We will discuss in this series of articles, the effects of these trends on the United States as a whole, the State of Georgia and ourselves as not only Georgians but residents of North Georgia. We will also look at the actions already taken by several States and actions contemplated by a number of other States, including Georgia, regarding the Sovereignty of the State. And, finally, we will look at at least four possible paths we might take to the future and what each might look like in years to come. Part Two Historic Origins and Federalization in the 18th and 19th Centuries The “American Colonist” of the 18th century was an independent sort with widely diverging views. Landowners and business owners chafed under British Rule suffering requirements of import only from England, taxation and quartering of British troops in colonial homes. The “common man” cared only that he could work, eat and support his family. Many of these simply moved west when they became unhappy with conditions in the “civilized” east. But, a few men, mostly well educated and of substantial means, took another approach. They appealed repeatedly to the Crown for redress. It was the Crown’s unwillingness to listen to these appeals which led to the drawing together of the Colonies with first Continental Congress meetings and then more clandestine gatherings leading to the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War and the Articles of Confederation. The first President of The United States was, incidentally, John Hanson of Maryland. Hanson was unanimously elected by Congress on March 1, 1781 upon the signing of the Articles of Confederation by Maryland, the last of the 13 States to do so. The Articles were weak and led to the adoption of the U. S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 by the Constitutional Convention and subsequently ratified by each of the States in the name of “The People.” The Constitution of the United States is the oldest constitution still in use anywhere in the world today. In these early days of our country, great attention was given to and demand for the rights of the Sovereign States of the United States. The several States and their representatives felt strongly that a series of rights must be contained in the Constitution. Thus, we have the “Bill of Rights,” the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These facts deserve mention in this treatise because they demonstrate clearly the belief of our founders in the rights of the Sovereign States. And, in the limitation of the power vested in any central or federal government. This was the reason for the “balance of power” created with the three separate branches of our government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial, each with the power to balance the others. During the early decades of the 19th century, the northern States and southern States began to draw apart. Slavery was the issue most visible and it was given great import in both the north and south because of its’ moral implications. But, economic issues were probably of more direct import. Both, however, led to the War Between the States, today known in the north as the Civil War and in the south as The War of Northern Aggression. The War was clearly a struggle to determine whether a State is, in fact, sovereign with the right to leave the Union or a State is a part of the whole and subject to the dictates of the Union. This fight rages to this day. And, it has never been under stronger debate than now. The War established for the remaining years of the 19th century that the Federal Government was the seat of power and that States are subject to the laws of the Federal Government. It did not, however, settle this argument fully, nor did it do so in any complete manner. It is important to note here that the American of these decades remained an independent sort, many of whom simply moved on when authority seemed unacceptable. The central government spent a great deal of its‘ time and treasure administering new lands as they came under American rule by one method or another and in fighting Indian nations in defense of settlers and in defense of expansion of Federal rule. At the turn of the 20th century the subject of States Rights vs the Federal Government occupied little of the public’s attention. These were prosperous times and land was still available for those who wished to be far from cities. Part Three Creeping Federalization The 20th Century As the Gay Nineties gave way to a new century, the country was in high spirits. Work was plentiful, the country prosperous and people looked ahead to an unending future of continuous growth. It was this sense of “anything goes” that led to a Christian Revival (read you CAN legislate morality) and Prohibition. WWI, was a terrible time. But, it had little effect upon the ongoing life of the country as a whole only from the perspective of federalization. In other ways, it was the worst time since the War Between the States. The roaring twenties, while lots of fun to be sure, gave people the Speakeasy and illegal booze. Wild parties and booze and drugs (they were not yet illegal.) Crime syndicates grew, street warfare raged in large cities. Still, prosperity reigned and the “bigger fool” theory of stock market investment gave the people a sense of live hard and play harder. Then 1929. The feel good era gave way to bread lines and massive unemployment. Prohibition was repealed in 1933. By now the carefree “individual” had become the hungry sufferer who begged the government to save him. The New Deal. An awful lot has been written about The New Deal. Suffice it to say here that it proved unsuccessful. It proved that the government cannot be the savior of the populace with massive spending and borrowing. But, more of that when we get to the 21st Century. Let’s leave it at that government “by the people” had given way to “big government” at the expense of “state’s rights.” Ever so slowly the country began to crawl out of the Depression and by 1940 most people had jobs and the bread line was no longer the mainstay of the American diet. “Happy Days” seemed, at least, in “the light at the end of the tunnel.” WWII. The only thing we need to say here about the war is that WWII was the single most terrible time in our country’s history. It was costly both in human cost and money with 418,888 American dead at a monetary cost of about $304 Billion. The Korean Conflict was the first of Cold War period conflicts which, along with the Vietnam War caused an ever widening separation of two camps, the liberal - anti war group and the conservative - “There is no Substitute for Victory” group. President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address against a Military/Industrial Complex which would lead to out of control spending and economic ruin of the United States. His words were prophetic. The balance of the 20th century saw battles back and forth between the Reagan conservatives and the Clinton liberals. Nixon and Carter will be ignored as morally irrelevant. Carter’s Camp David Accords and Nixon’s opening of China were both of great merit. But, otherwise neither man had lasting impact on American life. The Clinton years saw strong efforts to implement big government programs, such as National Healthcare. But, all in all the century ended with little change in the balance of power between the States and the Federal Government. Next, the 21st Century. Part Four Creeping Federalization The 21st Century The first ten years of the 21st century have seen an unprecedented power grab by the Federal Government beginning with September 11, 2001 and the subsequent Patriot Act. The Republican Party, which was in control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency, failed completely to act true to its’ long standing principle of limited government and fiscal responsibility. This showed that both parties spend according to what is best for the individual’s and/or the Party’s re-election chances in the next election. Reagan Conservatism was forgotten or ignored. States rights were not even a consideration worthy of discussion. And, Federal power grew exponentially. True, there was a war to fight and there still is. Afghanistan is a just war and one we have no alternative but to win. Iraq is subject to discussion. And it matters not what I or the reader feels regarding the Iraqi war. My personal feeling is that we could have avoided that conflict and used other means to remove Saddam. Nevertheless, the war in Iraq was expensive in lives, in treasure and, of perhaps most import, in the erosion of the rights of our citizenry. Central government power grew at a steady rate from the turn of the century through the election of 2006. The rise to power of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid signaled the beginning of an attempt at a power grab of proportions second only to the Civil War. The election of Barak Obama provided the leaders of the Party with the control they needed of the Executive Branch. They now have utter control of two of the three branches of our government. Only the Judicial branch remains somewhat independent. Appointment of federal judges, held up for eight years under the Bush administration were suddenly pushed through by the new Democrat majority. Stimulus spending began to skyrocket and the imposition of unfunded Federal Mandates have caused many states to limits approaching bankruptcy. The fact that it was the Democrat Party which caused the main problem, banks forced to make illogical mortgage loans to unqualified buyers, was forgotten and all problems blamed accordingly because they were all “inherited” from the Bush administration. Cap and Trade, the largest tax increase in history except for WWII, and the grab for federal control of the health industry represent a departure from actions prescribed in the Constitution. This represents nothing less than an attempt by the current leaders of the Democrat Party to destroy the capitalist economy and to replace it with a central government planned and controlled economy. Appointment of Czars, more than all previous Presidents combined, consisting of avowed communists and very left leaning persons, together with questionable Cabinet appointments have caused an utter lack of faith in the integrity of the Obama administration by many of the citizenry. The question which arises is simple and clear. “Is this what we really want?” The answer to this question is a moving target. In January of 2009, for the majority of our citizens one would have to say that this is, indeed, either what they want or what they have been told they want. Asking this question today gives a very different answer. Approval ratings for the President (Obama), the Senate, the Leader of the Senate (Reid), the House and the Leader of the House (Pelosi) are at or near historic lows. Aggressive citizens have caused many Democrat office holders to either cancel town halls or control access to these, then ill named, town halls. Tea Parties and citizen rallies have reached a fever pitch. The so called “main stream media” has abandoned its’ certain lauding approval of all things Democrat and begun to challenge the administration. Obvious misstatements and even lies are no longer ignored by all but Fox News. And even other cable news instruments criticize illogical proposals. Eight States have recently appealed to the 10th and 9th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to assert their state rights over federal government. These are Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma and Hawaii. They are expected to be joined by Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Texas within the year. Where are we going? Which path will we ultimately take? The most desirable path may be a continuation of a States movement to declare themselves Sovereign and independent of and not subject to any actions of the Federal Government not ceded by the Sovereign States to the Federal Government by the United States Constitution. (See the first ten amendments earlier in this series.) A New Confederacy comprised by those States which decide they cannot work within the current system. This would mean Secession by these states from the United States of America and could lead to a second War Between the States. This is hardly a desirable path. But, there is one path which would be less desirable. The least desirable path is the one upon which the triumvirate of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have embarked. A complete takeover of the American Economy by the Federal Government and the institution of a people ruled by the Government and subservient to a One World Order. The choice is yours.
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