Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown and the 10th Amendment

With the government all but shut down; as the Republicans and Democrats face off with one another over “Obamacare”; there has been much talk of how stagnant and stymied our representatives in both the Congress and Senate, have become. They can’t even agree on a budget, again.

Some articles have suggested that this is the first government shutdown in 17 years. I have to disagree with that statement, as the government has been leapfrogging from the threat of one shutdown after another for quite some time now, and as such, they have become ineffective. And the people are concerned; rightfully so; that we are getting shortchanged by our lack of representation in Washington by the very people we elect; and then pay; to serve us.
So what can we, as the people who employ these jerks do? Well, for starters, let’s look at the Declaration of Independence, which, although not law in itself, is the underpinning of our country’s quest to become a nation of laws. That document states that;

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”*

When the smoke from our Revolution faded away and the Constitution adopted as the law of the land, the Founding Fathers; wise men that they were; added 10 Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, in order to make sure that our government would continue to afford “we the people” the protection from the tyranny which we had just thrown off. It’s time to take a closer look at the 10th Amendment, which states that;

“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.”

Now, what does that Amendment mean to us as citizens of our beleaguered country in the throes of stagnation brought about by the “Shutdown?” It means that we the people, acting collectively in our individual states, can fire these bastards and take back our government. No killing necessary; though it does seem an attractive idea; just good old Constitutional law.

Since the Federal Government cannot regulate what is not stated in the Constitution; and there is no provision prohibiting it; we can call for elections in our individual states as per Article 1 Section 4 which states that;

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.”*

Now, I’m by no means a Constitutional scholar, but it would seem to me that we have some wiggle room to make them squirm like a worm on a fishing hook. And, it appears to me that now would be a good time to use it.

*Any perceived “errors” are from the original text of the documents noted. They reflect the language and accepted spelling of the time in which they were written. For me to “correct” those words would seem to be a bit of sacrilege. 

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