In today’s Liberty Lad’s Conservative Corner episode, Liberty Lad talks about the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and focuses on the concept of federalism.
The Founding Fathers, as we all know, were big fans of liberty. They believed in the separation of powers in a limited federal government and federalism because those two factors of government, working hand in hand, would most effective prevent tyrannical rule and preserve the freedom to the general population. In the Federalist Papers, a series of essays written by Jon Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, it is said that the union should be regarded “as a CONFEDERACY of sovereign states; instead of which, they have framed a NATIONAL government, which regards the Union as a CONSOLIDATION of the States.” The concept of federalism, not only present in the Federalist Papers, but is also understandably ubiquitous in the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment, one of the most important ones, states:
” 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.”
When a matter, such as policing, marriage, environmental regulations, or education, is not described or explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the States have the powers to decide for themselves. As they are “sovereign states”, as stated in the Federalist Papers. The states, for the first 150 years of the union, had most of the powers. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal not only stole most of the authority away from the states, but it also twisted and fundamentally changed the Framers’ vision of a limited, separated federal government that keeps out of the way of the general population. Unfortunately, the Tenth Amendment is all but destroyed today as Washington grows out of control.
Not many people know that back in the days, Senators all across the nation were elected not directly by the people as they are now, but rather by the state legislatures. That part of Section 3 of Article 1 made it possible for states to have a say in national politics. Considering how important senators are to the everyday functioning of the federal government, that model of Congressional vote worked perfectly and gave plenty of power to the states. The good ole days were taken from the states when the Seventeenth Amendment was passed, adopting a populist model of government instead of a constitutional republican one.
Article Five of the Constitution is the ultimate weapon for Federalism: when 2/3s of the states deem necessary, a convention of the states will occur to discuss potential amendments to the Constitution. That is the ultimate way for “We the People” to take back our Republic, and is the ultimate way for the states to be once again relevant.