In his 1850 Disquisition on Government, John C. Calhoun argued that a written constitution would never be sufficient to contain the plundering proclivities of a central government. Some mechanisms for assuring consensus among the citizens of the states regarding “federal” laws would be necessary.
Consequently, Calhoun proposed giving citizens of the states veto power over federal laws that they believed were unconstitutional (the “concurrent majority”). He also championed the Jeffersonian idea of nullification. To Calhoun (and Jefferson), states’ rights meant that the citizens of the states were sovereign over the central government that they created as their agent, and could only be so if such mechanisms — including the right of secession — existed.
Without these political mechanisms the forces of nationalism, mercantilism, and political plunder would relentlessly reshape the Constitution with their rhetoric, and their efforts would eventually overwhelm the strict constructionists. At that point the Constitution would become a dead letter.
In his new book, The Constitution in Exile, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains in very clear language just how prescient Calhoun was. The biggest special-interest group of all — the federal government itself — has “seized power by rewriting the supreme law of the land,” as Judge Napolitano says in the subtitle to his book. Just as Calhoun predicted. The purpose of the book, says the judge, is to tell “the unhappy story of liberty lost, federalism trampled, and Big Government run amok.” How did we get to the point, he asks, of where the “federal” (i.e., central) government defines for us the drinking age for alcohol, how much wheat farmers can grow, the ability of terminally ill cancer patients to medicate themselves with marijuana, the amount of sugar that can be used in ketchup, and even the size of toilets?
Unlike the neocons who surround Judge Napolitano in his appearances on the FOX News Channel, he understands that freedom comes “from God and is inherent to our humanity . . .” “Freedom” is not derived from military adventurism under the guise of phony humanitarianism, as the David Horowitz/William Kristol/Rush Limbaugh/ crowd would have us believe. (For an amusing rendition of…..
- Gunny G: Rarely, Are So Many Scoundrels and Villains Mentioned in One Single Article! (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- The Death of the United States Constitution (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- “Lincoln increased the power of the federal government at the expense of the rights of the states and civil liberties. This opened the door to more unconstitutional acts by the government in the 1900s through to today.” ” ~ BLOGGER.GUNNY.G.1984+ ~ (BLOG & (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Constitutional Neoconmen by Thomas DiLorenzo (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- The Men Who Destroyed the Constitution by Thomas DiLorenzo (gunnyg.wordpress.com)