Understanding Federalism: A Key to Solving America’s ProblemsThe American system of government, as established by the Founders, was unique in all the world. Founder James Wilson expressed it this way:
“After a period of six thousand years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation, unattacked by external force, unconvulsed by domestic insurrections, assembling voluntarily, deliberating fully, and deciding calmly, concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live."
Federalism and the 17th AmendmentLast month we described the emerging "federalist revolution," the bold campaign many of the states have launched to reclaim their rightful place in the American political system. This movement could well become one of the most significant developments in modern history-but in order to bear good fruit, it must be rooted in the inspired constitutional formula that made America "the land of the free." Since the only way to restore American federalism is to reinstate the principles on which it was built, this month we're going to focus on the founding fathers' original design for federal-state relations. And on the basis of that design, we'll suggest a strategy that can help unite and empower the states as they work to reestablish their proper role in our nation's government.
The Declaration of Independence Part of American LawA few years ago a man asked me, "How can you claim the Constitution and the founding of America has religious or Christian roots when the Constitution doesn't even mention Christ, God, or the Bible?" In my answer to him I reminded him that it wasn't the purpose of the Constitution to set forth basic beliefs. The Constitution outlines the plan of government in its divided, limited, and balanced powers. Then I said to him, "You know we have two great founding documents in America. The other is the Declaration of Independence. It speaks of our beliefs all the way through. That is where you can find a declaration of Americans' belief in God." As we approach another July 4th celebration, it seems an appropriate time to review the principles of liberty, the basic beliefs, and the principles of independence which are contained in this marvelous document of freedom. I am convinced if Americans really knew and held to what was contained in the Declaration of Independence, it would lead to solutions to every problem which plagues us today. The Constitution of the United States sets up a government by which fallible, imperfect man, with all his passions and temptations, could best preserve the beliefs and concepts outlined in the Declaration.
The Law of Nature and of Nature’s GodDo you know how many new laws you're expected to obey in 2015? Whatever the number, when we combine all lawmaking activities at the federal, state, and local levels, we can see that every U.S. citizen is bound by literally hundreds of new government mandates each year. As business owners and others can attest, it's becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with these constantly changing legal requirements-or even to keep track of them all!
Choosing Virtuous and Moral Leaderseveral years ago I was to drive from Phoenix to Tucson to attend a political meeting. Just before I left, a young man phoned and asked if he could ride with me to the meeting. As we became acquainted during the drive, I found he was a student at the university and majoring in political science. I asked him what he wanted to do with such a degree when he finished school and he replied: I want to have a career in politics. My mind immediately reflected on the words of Samuel Adams who said:
"But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.
Federal Law Requires Schools and Government Agencies to Teach US Constitution
With the President’s signature on December 8, 2004, the Consolidated Appropriations Bill was signed and became Public Law 108-447. It funds a major portion of the federal government for another year. Hidden deep inside the 3,000 page document is the following verbiage inserted by the suggestion of a senator’s education policy advisor:
SEC. 111. (a) The head of each Federal agency or department shall-
- (1) provide each new employee of the agency or department with educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution as part of the orientation materials provided to the new employee; and
- (2) provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee of the agency or department on September 17 of each year.
- (b) Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.