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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ours Is A Limited Government

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." --James Madison in Federalist No. 45

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The Obama Administration, and the Congressional Democrats, have let us know by their legislative actions that they do not believe the federal government should be limited in its scope of powers. But the U.S. Constitution, and the writings of the Founding Fathers, are clear that the intention of the founders was that the American federal government must be limited in power and authorities. To allow the government to expand beyond the limitations provided by the U.S. Constitution is to allow the governmental system to become a tyranny that puts at risk individual liberty, as articulated by the Founding Fathers as being our God-given, unalienable rights.

The experiment of self-government in America is based on the philosophy that limitations on government protects liberty. This philosophy asserts that the existence of government in such a system exists because the people allow it to. The U.S. Constitution is the social contract between the sovereign States and the federal government, which allows the federal government to possess, as granted by the people of the States, a group of limited and few powers so that the government may be able to function properly while being simultaneously restrained from endangering the people's rights. These powers are "granted" authorities legally transferred from the States to the federal government for the primary purpose of organizing the government, while protecting our unalienable rights for ourselves and our posterity.

The limits are specifically in place to protect our liberty. "Limited" means that the federal government's authorities are limited to those powers enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. Those powers are only subject to change through amendments, which requires a 3/4 approval by the States.

The federal government is not the only part of the nation's system that is limited. All of the State governments in America are also limited, but by their own written State Constitutions.

The few and limited powers of the United States government are enumerated and defined in the U.S. Constitution. This is the basis of the concept of the rule of law. As a republic, the United States is ruled by law, and that fundamental law is the U.S. Constitution. This concept is in contrast to Rule-by-Man, which is what defines a democracy.

These federal powers, being few and limited, automatically define the limits of the duties of the personnel assigned to serve as members of the government. The federal government can have no duties, and no responsibilities, other than those consistent with the limits of the powers granted to it by the Constitution. It is a violation of the Constitution for government to assume duties, or claim they have responsibilities, beyond these prescribed limits. To take on powers beyond those enumerated is a clear violation of the law, and is a seizure of power that is consistent with the actions of tyrannies.

The Framers of the Constitution provided for a division of powers not only between the Federal and State governments but also within the Federal government between its three, separate branches. The various checks and balances among these branches are there to prevent either usurpation of power, or misuse of the limited quantity of power granted to it by the people.

The limitation of government's power, by a written Constitution adopted by the people through a ratification by the States, is the main distinguishing characteristic of our Republic. A Republic defined is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Each American government, Federal and State, is a Republic; and such a form of government is expressly guaranteed to each State by the United States Constitution. (Article IV, Section 4.) This makes the American system a federation (hence, the term "federal government"), of Republics. In other words, a union of sovereign republics. Our government is specifically designed as such to protect the people from the rise of a tyrannical centralized government. The States, and the People, are enabled by the design of the system, to constrain the federal government, to keep it from expanding in such a manner that it becomes similar to the centralized system the Founders fought against in the American Revolution.

The adoption of the Constitution as the basic law of the United States of America is a rare feat, and honestly, the greatest miracle of history is that the United States has remained united. The key to the survival of the union is that the limited powers of the federal government are specifically for protecting, and preserving, the union. All other issues belong to the States.

In their writings, the Founding Fathers continually warned against failing to strictly enforce the Constitution's limits on the Federal government's power. Keeping the federal government limited in its authorities is essential for the protection of the people's liberties. Remember, the creation of this nation came as a result of our defiance against the tyranny of a centralized system. Public officials who exceed the limits of the powers delegated to them by the U.S. Constitution are no different than the tyrants we gained our independence from. An ever-expansive federal government places at risk our God-given, unalienable rights, making those federal officials guilty of being usurpers, oppressors and tyrants.

Our current government is acting outside of the limitations provided by the U.S. Constitution, and is therefore acting in a manner outside of the authority granted to it by the people. By violating the Constitution, they are literally acting outside of Law. Such lawlessness moves us towards becoming a Democracy, which essentially replaces Rule-by-Law with Rule-by-Man. Such a transition frees the people from any duty of obedience, placing at risk the very legal and moral limitations that has assisted in making this nation prosper. Such is the danger of the poison of law-defying public servants, and a federal government that refuses to act within the bounds of the rule of law.

To turn things around, we must immerse ourselves in the knowledge that the history of this nation has provided. We must understand where we've been, and how we got here, so that we may endeavor to return this nation to the limitations set forth by the U.S. Constitution. Individual Liberty is at stake, here, and without limitations on the federal government we will ultimately become slaves to an emerging ruling elite that rules through regulatory measures dictated by a centralized governmental system.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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