States must tell Washington “it’s none of your business”

So the federal government has shut down. Do you miss it?

To borrow from John F. Kennedy’s eloquent inaugural address, if you’re a “what can my country do for me” kind of person, then you probably do. If you lean more toward “what can I do for my country,” you’ll likely just go on about your business while Washington flounders.

There’s another inaugural address that seems apropos in light of what’s happening in our nation’s capital (the shutdown being just the latest in a morass of ineptitude and excess – our problems run much deeper). It’s Ronald Reagan’s speech to the country in 1981, and it’s required listening for every American who wants this nation to keep its tenuous place as the world’s brightest beacon of freedom, right and good.

For our readers’ convenience, the link is posted here:

In it, Reagan utters the famous line, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

Never, ever have those words been more true than today, and it’s due to a government that has grown totally out of control while American citizens have allowed themselves to be lulled to sleep.

How did this happen? When did we start to veer off the path?

At the risk of boring readers with a history lesson, it’s important to remember that the Founding Fathers crafted and then carefully placed the United States upon a very delicate power scale. At one end of that scale, we have local government (and individual freedom), and too much power in that direction leads to anarchy and chaos.

At the other end of the scale is the federal government, and when power tips too far in that direction it leads to socialism – or worse. Then the government – under the guise of taking care of its people – actually owns its people.

The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, understood that the proper balance of power in a republic rests in the middle – at the state level. They went so far as to ensure that state sovereignty trumped federal authority all the way down the line. They felt so strongly about it that they included it in the original Bill of Rights.

Yet, over the years the federal government has ignored, violated and methodically dismantled the 10th Amendment – tilting the balance of power in its direction while stripping the states and their hard-working, God-fearing, law-abiding citizens of the right to govern themselves as they see fit.

As an example, it’s none of the federal government’s business whether or not children in Alabama say a prayer in their schools. That should be for the people of Alabama to decide.

The same principle applies to, well, pick your issue and pick your state.

The states, under their constitutional right, must start telling the federal government, “We will not do this, and we will not require our people to do this,” or “We will do that, and we will allow our people to do that.” And, on occasion, the states must muster the fortitude to send the federal government a jolting “it’s none of your business.”

What will happen if the states make such a stand? Nobody knows. But we do know how it will all end if they don’t.

Thankfully, there’s still time.