A crisis of the union? 6

Walter Williams is one of the rare thinkers whose opinion needs to be taken seriously. What he recommends cannot be dismissed, even if it is startlingly radical.

He writes that a crisis has developed in the United States for which the only good remedy would be a break-up of the union.

I believe our nation is at a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. …

Our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. These constitutional violations have increased independent of whether there’s been a Democrat-controlled Washington or a Republican-controlled Washington.

There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways. …

Let’s look at the magnitude of the violations.

Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is there authority for Congress to tax and spend for: Medicare, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and thousands of other activities that account for roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to citizens about what type of health insurance they must purchase, how states and people may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps, and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do just about anything for which they can muster a majority vote.

James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”

Our founder’s constitutional vision of limited federal government has been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Americans have several options.

We can like sheep submit to those who have contempt for liberty and our Constitution.

We can resist, fight and risk bloodshed and death in an attempt to force America’s tyrants to respect our liberties and Constitution.

A superior alternative is to find a way to peaceably separate into states whose citizens respect liberty and the Constitution.

My personal preference is a restoration of the constitutional values of limited government that made us a great nation.

We take his point. We agree with his analysis of the problem. But his last sentence, it seems to us, begs the question. How are those values to be restored?

If by secession, which states should secede? He does not say.

And if some do, what will be the consequences, within those states and in the nation as a whole?

Last time there was a movement to “peaceably separate the states”, there was a fight over that very issue, with much bloodshed and some 750,000 deaths.

The crisis may well be as severe as he says. A radical remedy may be necessary. But is there a mood in the country for it?

Of course we cannot be sure, but we guess Americans are far more likely now to “submit like sheep” to the growing tyranny of the federal government than risk life (such as it will be), and property (such as will be allowed), for the sake of regaining liberty.

  • Frank

    All of this is nothing more than a mental rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • WmarkW

    Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner have written an excellent column called A Conservative Vision of Government, which challenges the kind of politics the Republican party as letting liberalism define what conservatism is:
    1. Reflexive opposition to every expanded role for government
    2. Doling out government money to favored constituencies
    http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/a-conservative-vision-of-government
    The politics of “just say no” to the Affordable Care Act, is a perfect example of a politics defined entirely by opposing a liberal idea, even though key parts of it had once been a Republican proposal.

    Conservatism should re-define itself in terms of helping people make good decisions — to stay in school, not become a single parent, or ruin their future with crime and drugs. And also, that people should expect to be properly rewarded for making those decisions, by for example, not having to compete with Third Worlders for a job, after getting a good education.

  • WmarkW

    Our government is owned by the parties due to the closed primary system.
    Make all primaries open, with only one field, and top two finishers face each other. Nothing wrong with two Dems or Reps facing each other in a heavily partisan district.

  • rogerinflorida

    what is happening is that the Federal Govt. system of the US has migrated to an “Imperial” presidency and bureaucracy.
    Breaking up the Union is a bad idea and is way off in time anyway. Things will have to get pretty appalling for that to be an option.
    The best way to handle this, IMO, is to expand the US House of Representatives. The constitution calls for Districts to be comprised of no less than 35,000 people, currently the average population for each District is 712,000 people. if each District were to be approximately 100,000 people that would mean a House of Representatives of about 3,200 members.
    This would accomplish three major things:
    1. There would be enough Members to properly staff committees that would get the bureaucracy (and the Executive Branch) under control.
    2. The power of the party system would be reduced, there would be many more independents elected from smaller districts.
    3. The power of the lobbyists and paymasters would be reduced. Getting elected from a 100,000 member district would cost a lot less, so making the Members much less dependent on big money donors. Currently Members spend about half of their time fundraising, this is clearly not good.
    I have no idea how this could be brought about, but I firmly believe it would solve many of our Federal Govt. problems.

  • Azgael

    If you don’t own property because the government is and will take it anyways they wont be risking that and for life, what kind if life is it if your a slave to every government wim

  • liz

    I think the crises IS as severe as he says, and separation would be way better than nothing, but whether it can be done peacefully is a good question, or whether it can be done at all.
    There really does seem to be no way of reconciling the ideologies. But those dependent on the taxes of the producers probably won’t last long once the producers separate themselves and their money from the state.
    It would be great to see it all unravel for the collectivist -from the capitalist side of the divide.