We the people are giving away our rights, privileges and freedoms one little piece at a time. J. Reuben Clark said, “In the United States sovereignty rests in the people, not in the government or its officers. That is the fundamental difference between our Anglo-Saxon Constitution and the government set up under it, and the Justinian and Napoleonic codes and the governments set up under them.
“With us the government possesses only those powers we give to it; we the people, the sovereign, possess all else. With them, people have only the rights given to them by the Emperor and specified codes—the Emperor, the sovereign, retaining all the residuum of power.
“We look into our laws to see what we may not do, for we may do anything we have not given away, for the whole residuum is ours. They look into their laws to see what they may do; for they may do only the things the Emperor has said they may do, for all residuum of power is in him. This makes us free men; it makes them subjects.
“To make this principle doubly secure under our Constitution, the Fathers added a further stipulation: ‘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.’”
(Jerreld L. Newquist, “Prophets, Principles and National Survival,” pp.84-86)
During my 30 years as an administrator in the Texas public school system, I have observed the governance of our educational system being usurped more and more by the bureaucracy of the federal government. Because the Constitution does not specify that the education of our children is the domain of the federal government, it should remain the prerogative of the states or of the people. But we have been willing to give up the right to educate our children in accordance with the morals and principles of our state and of our community in order to receive the monies held out to us by the federal government with all their attached strings; monies collected from us in taxes and then proffered back to us as a carrot to lead us into teaching our children those things the Washington bureaucrats want them to be taught.
In a recent speech delivered at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar on May 24, 2011, Dr. Edward J. Erler, professor of political science at California State University, made the following observations:
“The advent of the administrative state poses the greatest challenge to limited government, because it elevates the welfare of the community—whether real or imagined—over the rights of individuals. The task today is to confine the federal government to its delegated powers.”
When we allow government to rule by decree instead of going through legitimate constitutional channels, Dr. Erler contends that it “is tantamount to denying that legitimate government derives from the consent of the governed, or that limited government rests on the sovereignty of the people.”
Dr. Erler went on to say, “One of the proofs offered in the Declaration of Independence that King George was attempting to establish an ‘absolute Tyranny’ over the American colonies was the fact that ‘He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.’ Obamacare certainly fits the description of the activities denounced in the Declaration.
“The number of regulations and the horde of administrators necessary to execute the scheme are staggering… The Administrative state—here in the guise of providing health care for all—will surely reduce the people under a kind of tyranny that will insinuate itself into all aspects of American life, destroying liberty by stages until liberty itself becomes only a distant memory.” (Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.)
Our senators and congressman are not authorized to legislate about things not covered by the Constitution. For them to do so is for them to usurp power, in effect, to change and amend the Constitution, and we the people have given them no authority to do this.
Daniel Webster said, “If the Constitution be picked away by piecemeal, it is gone—and gone as effectually as if some military despot had grasped it at once, trampled it beneath his feet, and scattered its loose leaves in the wild winds.” (Daniel Webster, July 5, 1802)
“I counsel you, I urge you, I plead with you,” said Heber J. Grant, “never, so far as you have voice or influence, permit any departure from the principles of government on which this nation was founded, or any disregard of the freedoms which, by the inspiration of God our Father, were written into the Constitution of the United States.”