Can I ask a favor? Could you turn off your TV’s, your cell phones and put on your thinking caps for just a few minutes and ponder the things I am about to say. Not that what I am about to say/ask will make a whole lot of difference in the end, but it will at least cause you to think about something that has been floating around in the back of my mind for quite some time now. Honestly, it won’t take long and it WON’T hurt.
First of all I want you to think about our Constitution; what is it and from where does it derive it’s authority?
Is it merely a list of suggestions, a guideline if you will, which our government may follow; is it something general, with the so-called general welfare clause allowing our government to take whatever measures it deems necessary to maintaining peace and prosperity for the United States?
Or is it the law by which all government officials are bound, (by oath I might add) to obey?
Next, and this is more important, from whence does the power granted by the Constitution to the government originate? Is it from the state legislatures which ratified it, or is it a general grant of power by the people?
The Declaration of Independence declares, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …” By governed it means all those to whom the laws government enacts apply to.
Abraham Lincoln goes even further. In his first inaugural address he declares, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” Lincoln continues by saying, “Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”
That in itself is strikingly similar to what the Declaration of Independence also states, ” That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
But neither actually tell us who it was that originally granted our federal government the powers it has, be it the people or their representatives in the state legislatures acting on their behalf.
So if you’ll be so kind as to allow me to pose a hypothetical scenario, I’d like you to consider it from a strictly legal point of view. That means put your emotions and personal opinions aside and just imagine that why I am saying might happen.
If the Constitution was agreed to by the states then later in time certain states decided that this federal government no longer served its purpose of establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, then could any of these states withdraw from the Union because it no longer served the purpose for which it was established?
It’s funny, because on Independence Day, AFTER giving the above statement in his inaugural address, president Abraham Lincoln made the following statement, “The States have their status in the Union, and they have no other legal status. If they break from this they can only do so against law and by revolution.”
Really? Well in the Declaration of Independence I clearly read that “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
So, going as far back as 1776 the original thirteen colonies considered themselves as states, and it was either by them, or an act of the people that our Constitution came into existence, (creating the federal government), 13 years later. So the people, and the states came first, THEN came the federal government. That solves the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.
So, getting back to my hypothetical scenario, if either the states, or a majority of the people, all come to the conclusion that the federal government isn’t doing the job it was created to do, can they either withdraw from the Union, or, go even further, and dismantle the federal government which they created?
The Declaration of Independence clearly states that people have the right to alter or abolish it.
So, hypothetically, say that it did happen, that the states, and the people, all agreed that the federal government no longer served its intended purpose and decided to abolish it. What do you think would happen?
Do you honestly believe that our federal government would say, “Well, if that’s your decision it has been nice working for you. We will just close up shop and go home.”?
The whole concept of withdrawing from the Union didn’t go over so well in 1860…did it? There was this little thing called the Civil War when the government, (not the Northern States), took the nation to war to force the South to remain in the Union…at a cost of over 600,000 lives I might add. And since then the government has grown much bigger, and much more powerful. So, do you think they would allow the states, or the people, to simply shut them down because they weren’t doing the job they were created to do?
If your answer is no, then you may want to ask yourself if you truly live in the land of the free and if your government may not be tyrannical. After all, it was created to represent the people. If the people decide they no longer need it and the government, by use of force, says YES YOU DO, then you may just live under tyranny and oppression.
You can take off your thinking caps now and get back to regularly scheduled programming.