The States vs the Feds: Conflict Lies Ahead
Posted by revkharma on May 8, 2009
December 29, 1860 a resolution was passed in Charleston, South Carolina. It laid out the reasons for which the legislature was determined to dissolve the legal bonds which bound the state to the United States. There is still a debate over many things, the primary contention still is the ‘true reason’ for secession. Die hard believers still say the issue was ‘States Rights”. Opponents still ask the question: States rights to do what? In this they are casting the accusation of Slavery. In retrospect there is really not much debate, regardless of the noble intent of some, the bulk of the leaders were slavery proponents, and they were the driving force behind the secession and the war.
That is the muddied history which still clings to very word ‘Secession’. The war fought and won by President Abraham Lincoln would seem to have settled the issue of the right of States to secede from the Union.
If that is the case, then why have so many states begun the process of passing State Sovereignty, or Tenth Amendment Resolutions? The last several decades have seen a steady and almost unstoppable trend toward increasing centralization of power in DC, at the expense of the states, and individual liberty.
Recently there was a stunning landmark which passed with little notice. An article in USA Today documented a change in funding for states. The largest source of revenue for most states is now the Federal Government. We are rapidly heading to a point of no return. The DC Government will continue to expand programs, offering limited term financing for them. As the federal funding goes away, states will be forced to increase taxes on their residents to replace the DC dollars which have evaporated. They will turn to DC for more funds, giving away more and more control as they accept increasing federal funding for day to day operations. Once the states are completely dependent upon the DC government for revenue they will no longer be functional as separate government units. At that point we will effectively have the end of the United States, total replacement with a monolithic federal unit dominated by a central government. This will complete the process begun with the 17th amendment. The states are being made irrelevant by design. The founding premise, of Federalism is a notion relegated to obsolete textbooks, and most Americans have never even heard of the concept. Principles of subsidiarity are non existent in our nation. The ideas of Federalism, local rule, and self reliance have been replaced by a culture of dependence and Big Government control and reliance on The State to provide all.
It may be too late, but somehow some of the states are taking stock and beginning to realize if nothing is done, the country will be altered permanently.
The big question that needs to be asked is this: Once a state passes such a resolution what happens when the inevitable conflict arises. Just how strongly will the states fight to protect their rights?
And just how strongly will DC assert its powers? Will this become a new war, fought in the courts? Or will we see another brutal conflict, with states joining together against a federal government intent on maintaining a union by all means necessary, including force?
A potential wild card is the movement toward a new Constitutional Convention. At this point we are roughly two states short of the threshold required to call a convention to rewrite the Constitution. Should that happen, all bets are off. I would bet that the current members of Congress, the lords of the two party system will do anything necessary to prevent such a thing from happening. Perhaps that’s a weak point.
It is interesting to see some of the maneuvering taking place recently. Several states have taken aim directly at the DC government’s infringement of Second Amendment rights. Alaska, Montana and Texas have passed or introduced state gun rights bills, which assert that any federal regulations are invalid within the borders of the state so long as the manufacturing and sale of said items remains exclusively within the state. This is a direct challenge to the many tentacles the DC government has extended via the expansive interpretation of the ‘Commerce Clause’. There is little question, should any of these bills become state law that there will be swift action to challenge them in federal jurisdiction.
As more states get on the same side, the media will be less able to characterize them as extremists
Ride fast and shoot straight has numbers and info on the growing movement. As you can see there is a large and growing sentiment among the various states. As more and more join, this will be perceived as mainstream, making it difficult for the media to describe all adherents as fringe elements.
We need to move on all fronts, using everything at our disposal to press the issue and to regain control of our government from the entrenched party structure that has simply bent government to serve their wishes instead of the goals of the Constitution. Much work needs to be done, but it is beginning to look just a little bit less daunting as more join the fray.
Keep the Faith