I know what you’re thinking — why only four? Why not 4,000? There are assuredly many more than four American policies that potentially would have caused the Founding Fathers to shred their new Constitution and go back to the Articles of Confederation. However, unlike our liberal friends, let’s just not throw fragmented accusations out there. Let’s discuss exactly why many of today’s policies are anathema to liberty and the American Way.
Before getting into specifics, let’s clear up a misconception about the Founding Fathers. They were not academicians and philosophers hoping to create a perfect, ideal government. No. Instead, they were toughened individuals reacting to the arbitrary abusiveness and hegemonic tyranny of a large, powerful, central government — England and its King George. Most of the basic tenets of the Constitution and first 10 amendments react to abuses suffered under English rule. The amendments were intended to prevent the new federal government from repeating these abuses of power. For each of four current American policies, I will relate them to how they violate the very freedoms the Founding Fathers sought to ensure after centuries of tyrannical English rule.
1. The National Security Agency’s Domestic Spying Program
Today, under the guise of protecting the country from terrorism, the federal government monitors electronic and verbal communications of Americans. It does not matter whether the monitored individual is a convicted terrorist or a law-abiding person with no criminal record. It does not matter whether the monitored individual sells earthquake insurance or seeks to sell to terrorists low-grade plutonium stolen from scientific laboratories. It does not matter whether the monitored individual’s hobby is stamp collecting or killing infidels.
The Founding Fathers would be irate because the purpose of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure, and the requirement for warrants, were based on their hatred of the “writs of assistance” that King George used. These writs authorized British agents to conduct broad searches and seizures of anybody at anytime even without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing.
Does this sound familiar? It should.
King George, an expert in the use of “writs of assistance,” would have been proud of the federal government’s NSA “general warrants.”
2. No Child Left Behind Act
There is no doubt that we have an education crisis in this country. But it’s up to parents, teachers, local communities and the states to rectify this. The federal government has no business in micromanaging how our children are educated. Nevertheless, George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law is amazing in its ineffectiveness yet powerful intrusion into how parents and local communities educate their children. It micromanages what and how we teach our children. While local governments can tailor education to fit society’s need, faceless overpaid bureaucrats in Washington D.C., should not.
The Founders wanted to create a system of government that prevented the overreaching of a powerful centralized government. So the Constitution only allows the federal government to be the “supreme law of the land” in specific areas. For example, the federal government must provide a common defense against foreign aggressors, provide a common currency, and regulate interstate commerce. Other rights and responsibilities were provided to the states. The 10th Amendment, shamelessly ignored by the federal government and the federal courts, made it clear that the states had the power to make domestic policies in all cases except when it interfered with a federal responsibility.
Many Americans are concerned about the state of health care. They should be. Over the past five years, I have watched my health insurance rates skyrocket and my level of care plummet.
However, improving health care is up to the states and to concerned patients. Burdensome, inefficient, and costly federal mandates do nothing to solve a social issue the Constitution and the 10th Amendment reserve to the states.