Individual liberties must be freed from the despotic grasp of big government

[By Clifford D. May, The Washington Times, Nov. 23, 2016]

The Founders believed that civil rights are inherent in individuals, not governments.


The final item in the Bill of Rights was written by James Madison in response to concerns that, over time, the federal government might become too powerful, thereby threatening individual liberties and self-governance.

The 10th Amendment:
“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.”

Powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are, as Madison said, “few and defined.” They include national defense, international commerce and immigration.

That implies there should be no “sanctuary cities” operating according to rules of their own. Only on this one issue does the left uphold the 10th Amendment.

Communities must come together in town halls which, in the old days, were opportunities for average Americans to discuss, debate and make decisions for themselves and their families.

If power were to be decentralized as the Founders intended, governors, who are among the nation’s most talented and respected elected officials, would begin to have their authority restored rather than increasingly usurped by the White House and bureaucrats.

An added benefit: The less money and power in Washington the fewer and less influential will be the lobbyists.

This approach to governance would also undermine those “national progressives” who unknown-3have succeeded in transferring power from state capitals to the federal capital and whose goal is to shift power from the United States to what they envision as a “global government” ruling “global citizens” living in a “global society.”

They want to define what constitutes international law and “global norms” and subordinate the U.S. Constitution to such rules.

They oppose serious border security. This has been among the projects President Obama has been promoting for the past eight years — a key component in his effort to “fundamentally transform” America.

On these issues, President-elect Trump’s supporters, as well as the conservatives and Republicans who did not back his candidacy, are likely to find common ground.


Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times. Follow him on Twitter @CliffordDMay.