Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why it Matters

It's exceedingly ironic to me that the people who claim to revere our system of government and its constitution and bill of rights are the same people who go to very extreme lengths to fight it.

In North Carolina, a small group of Republicans have introduced a bill that would exempt the state from federal laws, regulations, or oversight. In essence, it would emancipate the state from the federal government entirely. And, in a new and exciting twist, these same Republicans have added an additional stipulation to their bill which would create an official state religion.

They're not the only ones, either. Mississippi is trying to do something similar by creating a board that would have the power to nullify federal statutes. And North Carolina is no stranger to thumbing its nose at the feds either. One of the requirements for any person to hold public office in the state is that they believe in God, though this has not been an enforceable stipulation for decades.

What's interesting is that North Carolina's own constitution seems to protect against just such a measure (see section 5 in the link). So why are they doing it? To shake off the tyranny of the federal government, of course!

I'm not sure what these Republicans are hoping to gain by attempting to nullify federal law, but I highly doubt it'll be successful. For one thing, it's unconstitutional. For another, it goes against the founding principles of our nation, which they claim to support. It is essentially secession without a formal declaration.

The federal government is what really gives us our national identity. The federal government is what grants us our rights and freedoms. It's what oversees our work with other states and countries. It controls our military, and creates the foundation for all of our industries, infrastructure, and investments. It is what makes America.

The debate in Washington may have sent us into a world of craziness where nothing gets done and everyone gets blamed. But we can't abandon our founding principles and doctrine because of how our current representatives are acting. The point of federalism is that there is an overreaching body of laws and limits that serve to protect the country and propel it to greater and greater success. Granted, the process has fallen apart recently, but that's not a reason to abandon it.

The process matters, the philosophies of our governance matter, the debate and even the dysfunction matters. It matters because it is by this mechanism that we develop and change to meet the needs of our ever-changing world. If we simply turn our backs on the system, not only are we failing our principles of a unified nation, we are trampling our history and allowing political division to end the conversation we've been having for hundreds of years about what is best for the country as a whole.

1 comment:

samp said...

My comment is this. The government is the problem not the solution which is being revealed more and more as the real impacts of Obamacare are revealed...i.e. who pays for the hundreds of thousands of the "navigators" @ between $20 and
$40 an hour? This is just the beginning....hold on tight. (to your wallet) He is, as he said he would fundamentally change America. Sadly it's not a good, positive change. Hopefully the country can find away to survive the next 3 plus years of Obama and "company".