Tenth Amendment

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From The Peoples Bill of Rights

Quoting from the Constitution; “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.”

Even a casual observer would have to conclude that the concept of “limited Government” originated with the Framers.  The powers not specifically delegated to the United States being reserved to the states or the people tells us the framers intended the Constitution to limit the powers of the federal government.  All other powers being delegated to the states or to the people, means that all powers not specifically reserved in the Constitution for the federal government, would be divided between the people of a given state and that state government in a manor prescribed by the people of that state.  Each state could configure itself in a manor to compete for the favor of its citizens.  Some rights were prohibited to the states as being held exclusively by the people in any and all states (the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; also those right specified in the first ten Amendments aka the “Peoples” Bill of Rights).  The people are also guaranteed a “republican form of government” Article IV section 4.  These rights of the people would be defended by the federal government even against the state government.*  Also implied is that the Framers of the Constitution were strict constructionists.  The powers referred to would have to be specific (i.e. strictly interpreted), otherwise the Tenth Amendment becomes meaningless; death to the notion of the Constitution as a “living document.”  to be reinterpreted by the “life experiences” (read prejudices) of the judiciary.

In this age of limitless government, the Tenth Amendment seems a quaint notion. Dennis Prager, on his radio broadcast, often warns that “the larger the government, the smaller the citizen.” As we hand over more of our responsibilities to government, health care, retirement, employment, transportation, self protection; the list is endless, the relationship between government and citizen becomes forever altered. We have gone from being the employer of government to the child of the government; the citizen becoming smaller.

Americans need less government, not more.  Americans need fewer regulations, not more. Regulations constitute an unnamed tax which we pay none the less. Regulatory bodies consist of unelected legislators imposing new unapproved laws which all too often come with unintended consequences.  These bodies are not answerable to the people.  A free people must exercise control over a highly restricted number of taxing authorities.

By this time a lot of toothpaste is out of the tube.  Putting it back will not be easy but it will be necessary if the Republic is to be saved.  As citizens we have traded our future for a false sense of security and comfort.  We have been blessed to born in this, the greatest country the world has ever known.  As generations before us, it is our responsibility to pass it on to the next generation with as little damage as possible.  We certainly don’t want to be the ones who sent it down the dumper.

Unlike our competition we are a bottom up party with roots deep in the founding principles.  We elect our leaders and send them off as if they were deep space probes never to be seen again in hopes they alone can reign in the beast that our government has become.  This is no longer enough.  It is our responsibility to make Republicans out of our elected officials.  We must be able to articulate the republican values, apply them to contemporary situations and communicate this to our elected officials.  We must support our elected officials as they strive to do the right thing in an environment that not only does not appreciate principals but actively seeks to corrupt them.

Power is corrupting.  Everyone thinks when they get the power they will use it for good. A rare exception, George Washington, it is said could have been king, securing for his progeny a comfortable station for time immemorial.  Surely he could have had a third or fourth term.  But he walked away from power setting a precedent which guided most of our subsequent Presidents.  This rare commitment to “principle” must become a standard, a signature, of elected Republican officials.  We must elect officials who will fight to hand back to “we the people” the power the government has embezzled from us.

On the other side, we must be educators.  Most of us are parents and grandparents. Some of us work with and around youth.  We must learn to speak out about the exceptional nature of this great country; “American exceptionalism” has been referred to by Republicans from Sara Palin to Abraham Lincoln (a nation “dedicated to a proposition”).  We must not turn silently away from the offhand, unfounded criticism of this great country offered, or even over heard, from a stranger.  At Wal-Mart I overheard a woman complaining about all the tomato sauces from which she had to choose.  She actually said she wished there were fewer.  I told her they tried that once.  It was called the Soviet Union and it didn’t work out that well.  She was amused but I also think she also had something to think about.  Speak out, now, while you still can. America needs you.

*The “War between the States” was not a conflict of federal power vs. state power but rather the “people’s” right to liberty vs. the states right to power (the state could no longer allow the enslavement of any of its citizens).

~ Terrell AronSpeer

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Terrell AronSpeer ~ Born in 1947 under an assumed name. I moved to Texas at age 3 and brought my entire family with me. I majored in economics at the University of Houston. My entire corporate career was spent in high tech engineering starting as an apprentice and ending my career as director of Customer Service for a multinational rapid prototyping corporation which I took from a garage shop through its IPO in under two years. My first involvement in politics was in 1952 working in the Eisenhower campaign. Since then I have worked in every Presidential race to date and in most off year elections as well. Except for a brief flirtation with the Libertarian Party in its formative years, I have always worked in Republican politics. I was asked to speak at the first Tea Party event from the court house steps here in Quitman. It was my first public speaking experience. I looked at the Tea Party movement as fresh troops to help restore Republican values to a broken Republican Party. In retirement I have become a writer, mostly humor and political commentary. Currently I am writing three books. One is near completion; a short piece of political satire. One is a three volume political tome detailing the history of the political parties, economic and monetary policy, and the application of conservative principles to current political issues. The other is the hopefully humorous story of my journey through cancer. I also edit, the “Sentinel”, the Lake Country Republican Club’s newsletter. The local Master Gardeners association took first in state for their newsletter which I edited. In addition I was honored to be the assistant editor to Michael Kinzie with his landmark newsletter “Tea Party 911.” Once again I am honored to be invited back as a guest blogger.