The Tenth Amendment.
The Tenth Amendment.
Why should I care?
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Uh, oh. What the hell does that mean?
It means we're in for three years (at least) of hearing about the Tenth Amendment.
What it means is every time the Democratic Congress and Presidency, elected in vast majorities by the People (remember them in the Amendment) pass any legislation the Conservatives (overwhelmongly trounced in the last election by the aforementioned People) don't agree with we'll hear that anyone who doesn't want to obey the new laws of the land doesn't have to because of the Tenth Amendment. In short they'll just say "It's not the law where I live.
Isn't there a rather shameful example of what happens when states and local governments set aside the law of the land in favor of their own personal beliefs? I'm certain I remember something. Oh, ya, the Jim Crow Laws. Despite Lincoln's Emancipation Procolomation, Southerners (and others) just weren't buying it. Free black men and women, not in my backyard. That led to a hundred years of backwards cocksuckers basically keeping Blacks in a state of slavery and without any ability to vote or exercise their Constitutional rights, even though it was the law of the land.
We're not going to let this happen again. Places like South Carolina don't need to make their own laws. And if they do want to change the laws the Constitution offers there are these remedies:
1) Vote. It's a democracy. The reason Conservatives are up in arms in the first place is they got swept out of office at all levels by a vote of the people. The People. But instead of waiting two years and making their case to the people and turning Democrats out of office they stamp their feet like children and say "Well, we're not going to obey the law." That's pretty dangerous, don't you think? Because these people aren't even willing to work within the broad freedoms Democracy offers to change things, they just want to take their ball and go home after a loss. Experience tells me people like that are dangerous, childish, and impossible to work with.
2) Amend the Constitution. If you don't like it, change it. You have two ways to do it. What you don't have the right to do is ignore the law of the land.
UNLESS. You want to secede. I'd love to see South Carolina on it's own. I'd love to not have those inbred, toothless, hillrods living in the same country I do, a country that showed the rest of the world what Democracy can be and what freedom is and what happens when good people do the right thing.
Here's the fundamental problem with interpreting the Tenth Amendment: People are stupid. And as much as I hate the Federal government, the only thing I can think of that would be worse is the idiots I see around me on a regular basis running things. At least the Federal Government is sort of on autopilot, and although it's inefficient, corrupt, bloated, and unresponsive, it's so full of inertia it's difficult to really make a change that will cause chaos. Whereas the morons who are my neighbors (who don't vote anyway) would get a bug up their ass every ten minutes and be changing the colors of watertowers and forming pitchfork mobs nightly if they were in charge. I'll choose the bloated Federal Government over that anyday.
The second point is this: Conservatives never seem to have an issue with Federal Government when they are running it. The last administration ran the largest deficit in history and managed to suspend more civil liberties than anyone since Mao. Not a peep. Fourth Amendment gone? I didn't need it anyway. Habeas Corpus? What was that? Harassment every time you demonstrated anywhere near an important function? Assembly schmamembly. It was probably just a bunch of pinkos and fags and animal rights freaks getting sprayed and beaten down with clubs anyway, right?
Wrong. It was all of us. President Bush took back or suspended more of our Civil Liberties with his Executive Orders and Presidential Letters than any President ever. Not even close. Not one of these came up for a vote. Where were Conservatives yelling about their Rights then? It just seems a little hypocritical to make such a fuss about it now. Especially when I don't have the feeling that anyone is trying to take away my liberty right now. And trust me, as a whacked out eccentric artist with a big mouth who would be the first to go when they start rounding up people for whatever bullshit charge they hang on you when it gets down to lynch mob time, I am the first to start yelling about any loss of my personal liberties, regardless of which party is threatening them. I'm not threatened right now.
And I think that may be the very thing that has Conservatives shitting bricks. They can't control what they used to control. They aren't trying to defend freedom, they're trying to get back the iron grip on deciding who was free and who was let's just say less free (women, Blacks, Mexicans, immigrants, gays, pinkos etc.) they have enjoyed in the past. They know they have lost the power of the majority, or the Silent Majority, or the not so silent but more affluent minority, or whatever they used to be. So, they have decided if they can't use the Presidency and the Legislature and the Courts to tell you what to do they'll just retreat to their gated communities and make up their own rules.
Trouble is you don't get to do that in America. You're still in America, and the Constitution is the law of the land. Obey it or go to prison because when you disobey you are a criminal, not a Patriot. I bet you'll be the first one's behind your walls to avail yourselves of all the services and privileges of being an American (and probably the last to serve). You'll benefit the most from the tax structure and your ceaseless lobbying for tax exemptions and no bid contracts and you'll ask us working Americans to bear the brunt of your research and development and let us pay to build your plants and headquarters and you'll live a life of opulence, but the second you're asked to return the favor by providing good paying jobs with health care and benefits you cry foul and say the governement is out to get you and redistribute your wealth (which, if you're following closely, you'll realize was the Peoples' wealth before you funneled it upwards). All you want is to sit in your gated community and enjoy all the benefits of the bounty of America and exploit the hard-working American worker, then not give back at all.
Go somewhere else. Your headquarters are in a foreign land anyway. Go there. Don't want to obey the Constitution? Go somewhere where they don't have one.
But one thing you won't be selling to me is you're defending Freedom. All you're defending is you're financial interests. And the toothless inbreds you get to parrot your idiotic propaganda will never be what made or keeps America great. They'll always be the ones who opposed every major reform that kept America's promise as the shining example of potential equality, justice and decency. They'll dig in their heels (tarheels) and bitch and whine about their freedoms and slow down progress just long enough that millions will needlessly live in poverty (including themselves) and fear and desperation, but when reform comes, as usual, they'll be among the first to benefit and see their quality of life improve. Then they'll be the first morons to oppose the next round of progress. It's hard to blame them: they're stupid and backwards and being brainwashed by the elites who actually benefit from a poor, fearful, divided America.
The Tenth Amendment. Learn it, know it, feel it. The Tenth Amendment is like when a pop fly is hit to the outfield and there's some debate if the center fielder or the left fielder (or even the short stop) should take it. I submit to you it's almost always best when the center fielder (The Federal Government) asserts control and takes it. Just reduces confusion and the possibility of an error being made by another fielder who is out of position and beyond his range. Everyone knows you wouldn't be in left field unless you were a butcher with the glove anyway.