Do You Understand the Constitution?
By John Sutherland
Having had some rather intense inline correspondence with conservatives in recent days who were basically attacking Ron Paul as a kook, wanting the federal government to perform actions that they think is important, regardless of the constitutionality, and having the federal government control the actions of the states. My only retort to them was to follow the Constitution, and to which, of course, I was told I just don’t understand the Constitution.
So, to simplify and declare my understanding and my position regarding the Constitution, here goes:
1.Representatives of the states wrote the Constitution, and with that document created the federal government.
2.The states are thus sovereign over the federal government – it is their offspring.
3.The federal government charter (the Constitution) lists exactly what the three branches of the federal government are supposed to do for the states in the realm of responsibility and shared sovereignty.
4.In areas where there are constitutional questions, the Federalist Papers provide extremely good understanding of exactly what the Founders had in mind when they drafted the Constitution, but the states should decide the resolution to the constitutional questions – not the federal government (and, yes, I am well aware of the impact that John Marshall had on the early supreme court).
5.In general, the federal government is supposed to 1) assist the states by presenting a united front in the international arena, and 2) to facilitate and make easier and more successful the interactions between the states. The federal government is a support mechanism for the states, not the controlling bureaucracy.
6.The states did not consider the Constitution to be a controlling document over the states. See the ninth and tenth amendments. So, as much as I like the concept of the recent McDonald v. Chicago Second Amendment decision, I would not suggest that it can control the states.
7.At no time (from my research) have the states surrendered their own sovereignty to the federal government. They may have shared some sovereignty, but the states are still legally sovereign over the federal government.
8.In cases where the federal government violates its contract terms with the states, it is the state governments that must rein in the federal government – not the people. The federal government does not work for the people – it works for the state governments. Witness the total shunning of the people by the federal government when 1 million marched on Washington a few years back.
9.The states have, however, surrendered so much of their own power to the federal government that the subject of self-sufficiency is perhaps out of the question at this time. That’s a crime to the citizens of the states, because without the states being independent and self-sufficient, the states have no means of protecting their own citizens from onerous foreign government attacks (witness Arizona’s legal challenges brought against it by both the federal government and the Mexican government).
10.In full consideration of the current lawless and global elite controlled federal government, it is the state governments that must 1) regain their self-sufficiency status as soon as humanly possible, and 2) confront the federal government each and every time it violates the law as established by the Constitution – especially in times like these.
Often we Americans, including our conservative colleagues, are coming off dumber than rocks with regard to understanding our own state and federal constitutions and our own laws. From our own government employees we need to start hearing the complaint that the ‘all the people know the law and we can’t get away with anything.’ Then we will know that we’re being effective.
For American citizens to find fault with any presidential candidate, with any elected representative, or with any hired government employee, because they are following our laws is the height of ignorance and stupidity.
If we, as American citizens, can’t learn about and follow our own laws, how can we demand that members of our government do so? Are we screwed as a country because we are so dumb we can’t learn our own constitutions and laws?
Somehow I know we are better than that.