The New Federalism Part V: Ensuring Domestic Tranquility  

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Well, we've finally passed the halfway point in this very important series. In today's post, we'll take a look at part five of the New Federalist platform, Ensuring Domestic Tranquility.

Ensuring Domestic Tranquility

In setting as a proper overall objective of government that of ensuring domestic tranquility, the Founders were referring to a general peaceable set of conditions of life in this country. Part of this involved the ability of citizens to live in circumstances that were settled and secure, with no domestic insurrections, and with their neighborhoods and communities adequately protected from predatory criminals abroad in the land. Yet another part of ensuring domestic tranquility involved Congress setting the relationships among the states, especially in regard to such issues as financial matters of commerce and interstate trade, and legal matters including extraditions between states, so that the states and their respective residents were treated uniformly and equally by the national level of government. That these concerns have little currency is a measure of how small the common understanding of federalist principles is today.
To say that Americans are today adequately protected from criminals in the land would be completely absurd.

Furthermore, it is the systematic efforts of the Left to dismantle the Constitution and/or render it irrelevant that has been a major cause of this problem and others. Unconstitutional gun control laws have taken away the American citizenry's most effective line of defense against those who would undermine their safety and security from these criminals, and when the criminals from the very government that has usurped this right come knocking, there won't be any way to defend against them, either. The liberal idea that violent criminals can be "rehabilitated" has brought about the need for notification laws that come into effect when a criminal is released into, or moves into, a particular community just to ensure that parents have the ability to protect their children. Of course, with no guns to use in protecting their children, what use are these laws to Americans?
Congressional Responsibilities

Under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, Congress is specifically assigned the power to regulate commerce among the several states, to coin money and regulate its value, to fix standards of weights and measures, to establish uniform rules of naturalization, to make uniform bankruptcy laws for the nation as a whole, to provide punishment of counterfeiting securities and coins, to establish post offices and post roads, and to provide for calling forth the militia to suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
There is no power vested in Congress to create the current "nanny state" that is draining our wallets.
As discussed elsewhere in this Platform, we New Federalists believe that Congress has reassigned these specific powers, duties and responsibilities to such an improper, constitutionally impermissible extent that the legislative role is no longer being sufficiently served as defined under our Constitution. We have thus urged Congress to reassert those powers by returning to direct congressional purview those agencies and organizations that now exert these powers independently of Congress. For example, New Federalism urges that all banking and money decisions be returned to Congress, including repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, restructuring of the Federal Reserve System, and bringing related monetary and valuation decisions back into compliance with the Mint Act of 1792.
Imagine that ... an America with no Alan Greenspan trying to micromanage the economy.
As the Constitution specifically notes, Congress bears responsibility for matters related to national borders and immigration and naturalization, as part of ensuring domestic tranquility. We favor Congress exercising these powers and responsibilities, rather than executive branch agencies operating independently of Congress, except for occasional but ineffective hearings that cannot accurately be deemed "oversight." The interdiction of illegal drugs and other contraband at the borders has relevance to matters of common defense and national security as well, given the possibility for large-scale terrorism from miniaturized weapons of mass destruction.
This is especially true given the current executive's complete abdication of the obligation to secure the borders. The Minuteman Project did a great job, but not without major interference from the ACLU and other far-left anti-America organizations. Put this power back into Congress where it belongs, and we may see a change. I believe this change would come as a result of affected states, such as border states in the illegal immigration situation, bringing these problems to the fore and Congress appropriately addressing them. It should be much harder for a body, such as the Congress, to ignore this type of thing than it is for one person, such as a President. In the case of illegal immigration, if a border state's representative ignores the problem, a neighboring state will wind up being affected by his ignorance, and that state's representative could then bring the matter before the body ... and so on until the matter is ultimately addressed.
Citizens' Responsibilities

Another necessary component of domestic tranquility throughout the United States involves citizens who freely exercise their responsibilities within their families, their neighborhoods, and their communities. The bedrock of peace and safety at home is peace and safety in the homes of families and individual citizens.
The people must be responsible for their families and those close to them. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to design programs, however good-intentioned, for the purpose of "helping people". The philosophy of federalism holds that the government helps more by leaving its citizens alone than by by being involved in various ways of actively trying to help them. Government's purpose is to secure the rights of the citizens - nothing more, nothing less.