The Need for Limited Federal Power

You have a lot more influence over your local and state representatives than you do over your federal representatives, and so the founders didn’t want the latter to have too much power over your lives. Otherwise they would become tyrants.

You see, the problem is power. Government power is the enemy of individual liberties. When the government has too much power, your liberties live or die at the whim of the people in government. If you have good people in government, you’re OK. But if you get bad people in power, you’re in deep yogurt. They’ll steal your liberties whenever it suits them, to enrich themselves or to secure further political gain. That’s why the US Constitution limits federal power.

Did you even know there was such a limitation? It’s not surprising if you don’t — most Americans I’m acquainted with give it no thought. The express limitations of power on the federal government are largely ignored by the courts, and almost universally ignored by the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. They don’t teach it in school, and the only place you’ll hear this on TV is the FOX news channel.

Here’s how it was supposed to work. The founders wanted to form a nation of states united for the goal of preserving liberty. To do that they created a federal government that had power to act only in specified areas. These are the “enumerated powers.” Their purpose was to grant to the federal government the minimum powers that it needed — and not more — to be the representative of the states to the rest of the world, to defend them from the rest of the world, and to preserve the ability of the states to maintain liberty for their citizens. All of the specifically enumerated powers of the federal government serve these three broad purposes. See Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

The unconstitutional excess of federal power we see today is the root cause of our loss of liberty, and the way to restore our liberties is to force the federal government to give up a whole lot of its power. I know leftists will accuse us of advocating armed insurrection, but that’s not what I advocate. We must do this politically, not violently.

It starts at home. Teach your family what’s wrong with the current state of things, and teach them the way things ought to be. See my Political Views for some examples. You might not agree with all of them, but I suspect you’ll find at least some material that will motivate you to fight — politically — for your liberty. And hopefully we’ll restore a free country for our posterity.