It is a question all those supporting states’ rights initiatives need to ask themselves. Once answered affirmatively the struggle for educating others truly begins. It is easy to claim we support our sovereignty, to lend our voice to state resolutions, perhaps even support legislation with some teeth, yet how will we withstand the opponents who simply point to the dollars we are willingly cutting off?
Glen Warchol ran what is perhaps the shortest piece seen in the Salt Lake Tribune in recent history. In 10th Amendment cold turkey he quickly leaves us with the truth about what we are asking for and how we must accomplish it. He describes a very brief conversation between U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Rep. Chaffetz asked what it would take for the federal government to recognize the 10th Amendment rights of the states, a fair question asked to someone who could truly articulate the answer. “Stop taking their money,” is the answer Warchol reports and it is an answer known to be the true, root challenge. We must stop taking the money and mimicking the income tax system as a start to reclaiming sovereignty.
A friend was attending a local town hall meeting Tuesday night. Regarding their support for 10th Amendment state duties they were in the vast minority. At the meeting were 2 Utah State Representatives and 2 Utah State Senators. Besides the irritating fact the majority of those in attendance wanted more government intervention there was an eye-opening comment from one of the state senators when asked about Utah’s 10th Amendment rights. She simply brushed the matter aside with the age old trump card. She spoke quite plainly that 23% of the state budget came from the federal government and people were not willing to give those dollars away.
There it is, two sources corroborating the very fact 10th Amendment efforts suffer in the media, political circles, and neighborhoods across the country from the dependency these federal dollars have created. Right now there are a lot of citizens jumping on the wagon of states’ rights, it is fun after all and there are some really cool people involved in this movement! Some of the politicians involved are genuine supporters of our heritage, statesmen in a day when that breed is endangered, yet many are simply coming on board for resolutions or weak legislation as a way to win more votes.
Opponents, even those who appear to be supporters, are not willing to stop the federal flow of dollars but then again, neither are most citizens. I know, some of you already understand the federal dollars being used as a carrot would not exist if it were not ripped from the state citizens’ pocket, which is not the point of the opposition. The point they want to press is those who truly want our state sovereignty restored really want to take money from the sick, poor, down-trodden, and hungry. Supporters want to end federal funding of schools, roads, and more.
How foolish, in these tough times, can such nonsense be? Supporting the 10th Amendment is nothing more than a stunt for publicity or a failure to understand the dollars and lawsuits being put at risk. Don’t confuse facts with fiction here! Don’t mistake the Constitutional plans for a Federalist Republic with today’s necessary, representative national democracy. So the spin of opposition goes and grows in the ears of your neighbors, sovereignty is not sounding so promising for them.
Are you ready to stand in opposition to federal funding of vital entitlements your neighbors need? Are you blind enough to think the state and local governments will really care for life, liberty, and property better than federal intelligence? Can you seriously defend the notion you and your neighbors, city, county, and state officials can actually govern better by governing with less federal interference? How foolish, in these tough times, can such nonsense be?
As Gary Alder points out there are many in the 10th Amendment movement who are like young teenagers demanding their parents treat them as adults. If their parents dare say Okay will the teenager be ready? Will you be ready to tell your legislators to stand up to their duty, quit accepting federal funding, and quit being the tax collector for all federal waste? How will you stand in front of your neighbor who relies on a federal program administered by the state and tell them this is best? After talking with you about our heritage will they be ready to give those dollars away?
None of this will be easy and the ‘federal dollar denial’ card will be played relentlessly in a game of poker that will take many chips from your stack. Ultimately our Posterity’s liberty is at risk. You must be ready first, and then you must educate yourself on the benefits of our Constitutional order of separation of powers; checks and balances involving states’ duties in controlling federal usurpation. You must firmly commit to the idea of the lowest level of government being the government that is best. We will first lose federal inflow before we ever can stop federal outflow and many will cry foul, fool, fiend! Look in the mirror and ask yourself, honestly, are you ready to restore state sovereignty?
Gary Wood is the Educational Advisor for the Utah Tenth Amendment Center. Co-founder of the Heritage Training Center, focused on helping end constitutional illiteracy. With 35 years of devoted study of our Constitution his desire is to help others rediscover the inspiring heritage of the United States. Radio show host, training officer, lifetime member of the VFW and most importantly Grandpa.
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