What appears to be the beginning of a tectonic shift away from suffocating federal power is underway. At least that's my fervent hope.
Finally, the "silent majority" seems to have had enough. In the face of creeping federal usurpation, the political survival instincts of the States and of the People themselves have finally been awakened. Their natural instinct to protect themselves against odious federal encroachments on their liberties has finally taken hold, and none too soon.
The plethora of tea parties in April--with more planned for the future--has served to draw attention to the tyrannical overreaching of the federal government in our lives and has, in turn, sharpened a grassroots demand for a return to limited and responsible government.
As of May 7th, it has been reported that 28 states have passed state sovereignty resolutions whose purpose it is to put the feds on notice that their overreaching and loathesome profligacy will no longer be so routinely permitted.
It is well that we all recall that Article 2, Section 8 enumerates the specific powers of the federal government, while the 10th Amendment of the Constitution reserves all those powers to the states which have not been specifically delegated to the federal government. To wit, the 10th Amendment, a cornerstone of our separation of powers doctrine, stipulates that "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." Although for the past 80 or so years, the feds have all but ignored constitutional restraints on their power, it more clearly appears than ever before that such will no longer be tolerated. They've clearly stepped over the line in the sand.
Joining South Dakota, the first to successfully pass such a resolution, are Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Resolutions have also been introduced in Texas and Arizona and 23 other state legislatures as well, so the movement is anything but a flashpan affair. "We the People" and the States finally mean business. Our clear mandate to the federal government is to return to responsible constitutional governance as it was intended by our founders.
On the local front, there is also the Project 2010 and the Primary Challenge movements whose respective goals are to return NYS to fiscal responsibility and accountability and to convene a State Constitutional Convention to constitutionally remedy what afflicts the state. And, of course, there's the 912Coalition chapter which remains strongly attached to its mission of restoring sanity and responsibility to government. Thankfully, such restorative movements are multiplying at the local, state and national levels everywhere. Federal overreaching has, to coin a well-known Japanese Admiral's words, "awakened a sleeping giant".
Then there's Montana which recently passed HB 246 which lawfully asserts that clearly marked guns and ammunition manufactured for intrastate distribution and use cannot be regulated by the federal government--clearly, a justifiable assertion of state power which could dramatically alter how the feds exercise their power over interstate commerce in America. With both the 2nd and 10th Amendment solidly on Montana's side, the feds will be hardpressed to nullify or to otherwise successfully challenge this law. (After the law takes effect in October, can you imagine federal agents being arrested by Montana police for trying to enforce unconstitutional federal gun regulations in the state? Certainly within the state's rights to do so, but what then would the feds do to reassert their misplaced authority? Let's hope common sense and the rule of law prevail. Definitely worth watching developments there.) Alaska and Texas are also forging similar gun legislation, two more direct challenges to federal encroachments on state power.
On the whole, then, I'd say we've much about which to be hopeful. If States' rights, our last line of defense, cannot be restored and upheld, then what? Rebellion? I don't think even this haughty administration would risk that, but I can no longer believe the feds are above any manner of mischief and recklessness. While we should always strive to be civil and reasonable, we must also remain on guard and deeply committed to a restoration of responsible republican governance.
In my life, I've not seen this level of invigorating and wholesome grassroots involvement in the political process. Once again the specter of tyranny is energizing patriotic pushback. Finally!
Power to the People!
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