In the 200 plus years since our founding many things and events have transformed our government from the thing that the founders intended into the very thing they fought a revolution to avoid. They didn’t want a centralized power passing one-size-fits-all laws. They wanted local government to have the dominant role in maintaining law and order. They wanted the people, at the local level, to decide how they would be governed. And the hierarchical system of government they created provided the most excellent way for a diverse population to self-govern. However, from the very beginning, there was a debate over how much power should exist at each level of government. And as America grew the pressures of economic growth, the status of America on the international scene, and the challenges of individual greed, the institution of slavery, and other forces pushed for greater control and hegemony from the Federal Government. But originally, The founders intended for the Federal Government to have a very small role, primarily limited to dealing with international affairs (things the States could not manage individually) and commerce between the States. Article 1, Section 8, sets out the ‘enumerated powers’ that limit the Federal Government to those affairs.
Several key events have greatly influenced the role the Federal Government has assumed beyond what was intended for it by the founders. Originally, the founder’s intent in the ‘Republic of Sovereign States’ was to allow the States to govern their own affairs and the citizens of the various States to decide how they would be governed. The writing of the Constitution provided the framework by which those Sovereign States would be united in a Republic. The Bill of Rights sets out the guarantee of individual liberty and the entire rest of the Constitution describes how those rights would be protected and justice assured. Liberty and Justice were paramount and the limit of power at all levels of government to respect those rights was guaranteed. The right to secession, guaranteeing the States that, should they decide they no longer wanted to be aligned with the Republic was given with the intention of assuring that the citizens of the Sovereign States would never endure hegemony and overreach from a centralized power. But the matter of slavery, and the economics of slavery, forced a contest between the Federal Government and the right of States to secede. Indeed, the economic dependence on slave labor and the moral conflict of slavery became the first major driving incentive for the Federal Government to assert supreme power over State’s rights. This is a tragedy in our history. Slavery had to be ended but the contest over slavery pushed the first major assumption of power by the Federal Government over the rights of the States and the people.
Other events that pushed the role change of the Federal government were the problems that emerged as the result of corruption in the banking industry and the competition of commerce between the States. There is much to understand about how our Federal Government became what it is… far too much to cover here. The purpose here is to explain in summary that the Federal Government was never intended by the Founding Fathers to become the giant all controlling centralized power that it has become.
The assumption of power at the Federal level just grew and grew. This happened mostly because of economic pressures. As stated above, the need to control matters like banking and commerce between the States became the driving factor in the Federal Government’s creation of what has now become a monster of regulatory agencies and involvement from the Federal level in all aspects of American Citizen life. But most of what is now under the purview of these Federal agencies should really be being controlled by the States. The only reason that the Federal Government has assumed control over much of what it controls is because the American People, as a whole, did not understand well enough what the Constitution intended. Nor did they understand the dangers in letting such power amass under the central control of the Federal institution.
There are now more than 270 separate agencies that are part of the Federal regulatory machine. They control everything from commerce to the environment to housing and on and on. They continue to be created because no one is stopping them. And the Federal Government, as it grew and assumed more and more power, needed money to fund its operations. The 16th Amendment was passed just after the turn of the 20th century which gave the Federal Government the power to tax the income of all citizens. This is when the IRS was created as well as the Federal Reserve. This event marks the beginning of real power at the Federal level. And the discussion of the impact and corruption of these institutions is of such scope that it cannot be covered here. The Patriot Union resource directories will provide many good sources of information and education so that members can be adequately learned about these topics.
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is the best known quotation of the 19th century British politician Lord Acton." It conveys the truth that, as a person's power increases, their moral sense usually diminishes. This is also true of governments and the founders, knowing this, intentionally limited the power of government, especially the Federal Government, and left power, so much as possible, to the people. But the quest for power exists in our government at all levels. And what has developed in the political party system is a constant struggle for power that has resulted in fundamental debates over what America should be, to the point of ideological arguments that truly threaten America’s existence.
The struggle for power between the two major parties, the GOP and Democrats, has now become a threat to Liberty and Justice. On the one hand Democrats, the Left, has become a party arguing for Marxist Socialism. And on the other hand, the GOP is primarily focused on maintaining the status quo of Federal management of all things American. Neither of these views are aligned with the Constitution’s vision for America. And as the power of the Federal Government grows the rights and freedoms of all of us are continuously being compromised. Whether it is the service of special interests or the redistribution of wealth the average citizen is mostly overlooked. Money and power have become the argument for one kind of tyranny or another. We cannot tolerate this paradigm to continue. There is only one vision of America that is legitimate.. that is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave… One Nation Under God.
We solve the problem by uniting and demanding that the Constitution be followed and obeyed. We solve the problem by reforming all of our institutions, government, news, and education. The good and right thinking people of this country must lead the way. If we do that with virtue and benevolence we can create an icon in America that restores hope and purpose. God’s Word says, ‘Without a vision the people perish.’ The vision of America must be restored. We do that when we challenge ourselves individually to live by virtue and moral compass. And we do that as a nation when we stand together, bound by faith and mutual respect and love. There is Good and there is Evil. And we must be able to identify the difference between the two and then work to see Good realized and Evil defeated.