What the Government Doesn't Want You to
know about the U.S. Constitution - Part II
by Rick Stanley - June 5, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 5, 2002
EDITORIAL OPINION PIECE
Stanley for U.S. Senate Campaign
What the Government Doesnt Want You to Know
The fifty-two word Preamble to the Constitution sets forth the purposes for which our federal government is instituted and delineates, broadly, the goals that We, the People, are seeking. Six separate goals we aim for are included. Today Id like to draw your attention to the first of those goals: Unity.
The Preamble expresses that goal in these words:
What, precisely, does that mean?
My dictionary defines a Union as "a confederation or league of independent individuals (as nations, or persons) for some common ends or purposes." When I ponder this definition, several closely related ideas pop into my head.
-- Independence precedes Union. Before there can be a Union, there must be several independent individuals.
-- The Union is formed voluntarily, by the separate decisions of independent individuals, or nations, who compose the whole after the Union is complete.
-- A Union is not an amalgamation. Each individual or nation joined with the Union retains its independent existence after the Union is formed.
-- Before the Union was formed, some universally understood and common ends or purposes existed -- separately and independently for every single individual who opted to unite.
Now from the historical record it's clear that the American Union is not only a union of the people who live here. It is also a union of the several states. In 1787 the thirteen states were in fact thirteen separate nations, bound together loosely by the Articles of Confederation, a defensive alliance formed during the Revolutionary War. The phrase "a more perfect Union" is commonly taken to mean that the new national government under the Constitution improved upon the Confederation then existing.
But America is not only a union of states; it is also a union of individuals. Historical fact supports this contention: the Constitution was adopted, not by executive action by each of the states, but by conventions of popularly elected delegates. "We, the People" really does mean that we, the people, join the Union as individuals.
Let's combine this realization with our knowledge of what the Union really is. Each American has joined the Union. So has each one of the fifty states. But they have not surrendered their autonomy to the national government. Both individuals and states retain their sovereignty. We have agreed to let the federal government pursue our common goals on our behalf in a certain limited way. But there remain many goals and purposes we do not share in common, and not a single one of those is subsumed within the sphere of lawful federal action.
That's the theory. How is it working out in practice? The short answer is -- not very well.
Under the constitutional plan of Union, good government begins at home. The individual is sovereign within his own sphere of action, unless his actions impinge unjustly on his neighbors. The state and local governments also have their own limited roles to play. And the federal governments role is strictly circumscribed. Under the Constitution, it must limit its actions to matters of national and international importance.
In theory, the power remains with the people. In practice, it has all gone to Washington. Think of education, a local concern "overseen" by the federal Department of Education. Think of wages, and food prices, items of personal concern "managed" by the DOL and the USDA. The drug war? That's a personal responsibility issue subject to self-government, not federal intervention. Old age insurance? Same deal. Medical care? The same. You get the picture.
Wherever you look you can see the federal government poking its nose into everybodys business. CIA, DEA, EPA, FAA, FBI, FCC, HHS, ICC --the list is interminable. And practically all of it is unconstitutional.
We can fix this. There's still time. We can elect people who actually understand the Constitution, and who know what a more perfect Union is really all about.
Which is it going to be? The United States of America? Or Americans Amalgamated, Inc?
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