Considering the 10th Amendment

Writing in the Nov. 3 edition of the Washington Times,
conservative columnist Cal Thomas asks a significant question: Can the 10th
Amendment save us?

For those who don’t have a copy of the Constitution handy,
the 10th Amendment reads: “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.”

Mr. Thomas uses his column to speak in favor of restoring
Constitutional limits to government, something the framers had in mind when
they wrote the Constitution–sort of. He spends much of his column talking about
how liberals have increased the size, scope and power of the federal government
at the expense of the states and the people.

“The left has put aside the original Constitution in favor
of a "living document" that they believe allows them to do whatever
they want and demand more tax dollars with which to do it,” he wrote.

While there is an element of truth that the left is the
culprit, Mr. Thomas overlooks the right.

Many people point to Ronald Reagan as an excellent example
of what a good conservative presidency should be about, but the federal
government was larger and more intrusive after eight years of Mr. Reagan’s presidency
than before. It was larger still after four years of George H.W. Bush as
president, larger after another eight years of Bill Clinton and again larger
after eight years of George W. Bush. And it appears that this growth will
continue to escalate exponentially under Barack Obama.

The power of the federal government grew no matter which
party held he presidency and it grew no matter which party controlled Congress.
It grew–and continues to grow–because neither of the incumbent parties cared to
honor Constitutional limits of that government.

And that growth rate of government started long before 1939.
Consider the fact that from the establishment of the Constitution in 1787
through 1913 the value of the dollar increased, but since the establishment of the
Federal Reserve in 1914, the dollar has done nothing but decline in value.

But returning to the question of whether the 10th Amendment
can save the country, the answer is, yes, in part. But that alone won’t do it.
There are nine other amendments in what is called the Bill of Rights and
adherence to each of them is crucial for the preservation of liberty. And
preservation of liberty–individual liberty–is the first priority and the only
reason for the government to exist.

The vast majority of elected officials, from both the left
and right, have done little to preserve liberty, but have done much to increase
power of the government, and done so in violation of Constitutional limits on

But there are others who aid and abet those elected
officials who disregard the Constitution, and it’s not just  the lobbyists who plead their cases for
special interest. It’s the American people who don’t care either.

Oh, they may care about their own pet issues, be it
government-controlled health care or mandating internal identity cards, but
they fail to see the loss of liberty brought about by ceding to the government
so much control over their lives.

To be free, the people need to hold congressmen, senators
and presidents to their oaths of office that require them to preserve and
protect the Constitution. All they do now is violate it.

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