POWER over Right and Wrong
For many years the people of the United States have had the luxury of being able to think about what is “right” or what is “wrong” without upsetting too much the peace and prosperity of the nation as a whole. This is because the governmental structure of the United States has traditionally been one of limited, separated, and divided powers, leaving to the states the moral police power and to the federal government a more limited role and function. Although people and their states differed over what was right and wrong, none could gain enough power to enforce those ideals on the rest of the nation.
But those days are over.
The federal government has become so powerful that it is legislating morality for all 50 states of the Union. Unfortunately, it is the People and their States who have allowed, even encouraged, this dangerous shift in power.
The temptation to impose a single moral point of view on their neighbors has become too great for the People at large, and the CENTRAL POWER of this nation is being used in an attempt to establish “universal” moral goodness. BUT WE ARE NOT OF COMMON MORALITIES!
To try to establish moral right and wrong through the federal government, as opposed to through state discretion, is to betray our unique American heritage of peaceful diversity and exchange it for the historical status quo of power struggle. This is exactly what the founding generation sought to avoid in forming a federalist system of government under the U.S. Constitution. If we submit to the present power struggle for moral domination at the federal level it WILL RESULT IN A LOSS OF LIBERTY and it WILL RESULT IN INCREASED SOCIAL DIVISION AND UNREST. If we persist in attempting to force each other to do “Good” by force of federal law, WE WILL ALL PAY A TERRIBLE PRICE.
Let us not leave the Garden of Eden and run forlorn into Jurassic Park.
What must we do?
We must realize that the ultimate “right” of individuals is to make moral decisions for themselves and to be protected from moral impositions by others (inasmuch as this is humanly possible). MORAL AND SOCIAL EQUALITY IS NOT A RIGHT, but the likely result of a diligent and informed general population, and something that can only happen by general good will and free will and choice, without destroying liberty in the process. The structure of government outlined in the Constitution is intended to reserve moral decisions for the lowest common denominators of government, i.e. “the People,” and more particularly, “the People of the States,” and to rely heavily on the virtue of the People as the foundation of tolerance and liberty. This preservation of virtue and responsibility at the local levels is the proper role of Government. Although we may feel that our moral view will bring more prosperity, we cannot feel justified in using the federal government to coerce our neighbor states to comply with our views. We must instead use persuasion, rhetoric, and moral force and shame, to bring our neighboring states to a realization of their errors.
To preserve local diversity and the spirit of freedom, we must combat ALL increases of federal power, whether for “good” or “bad” programs, and seek the implementation of good programs at the state level through local civic and non-profit organizations. This will ensure, as James Madison said, that although “factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, [they] will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States.”
The Original Constitution of the United States envisioned a much smaller federal government and SOVEREIGN States. To be sovereign means to be “master of oneself.” We, the People of the States, need to take back our sovereignty and decide our own moral course. We ought not to have passed this sacred and personal responsibility to the federal government. Political enlightenment and the reassertion of State Sovereignty is the means of reversing these mistakes. The consequences of a large federal government and weak states are too great to allow. States must wake up and remove themselves from the federal dole, and act to protect their citizens from a national moral tyranny.