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The Coming Constitutional Test
October 26, 2012
The Coming Constitutional Test
The Comparison of President Obama and Governor Romney
By Marc Nuttle
By every indication, the presidential election of 2012 will be extremely close and, based on a few votes by state, razor thin in the Electoral College. Pundits have analyzed this election from every possible viewpoint and vantage. Government spending versus out of control deficits, a burdensome debt versus ongoing stimulus, the level of taxes on the rich, women’s rights, traditional family values, education, immigration, foreign policy, and strong national defense, is but a short list of critical issues. I would submit that there has been one key issue completely overlooked - the application of the Constitution of the United States and the attitude of the candidates in reference to that application.
Most issues are being analyzed from the viewpoint of a federal standard. Completely overlooked is the issue of state’s rights and an individual’s rights to live in a state wherein the core values and the political philosophy produce an environment in which the citizen feels empowered.
The Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1789 is a revolutionary, philosophical document. The underlying foundational principle of the Constitution is that a citizen is sovereign over the government. Further, the United States of America is a republic wherein states have certain rights to manage their own internal affairs without federal interference. These rights are enumerated in the Tenth Amendment.
The Tenth Amendment states, “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.”
The Ninth Amendment is a sister amendment. It states, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
These two amendments, taken together, establish the rights of the states and their citizens to establish social policy, economic systems, and a general sense of well-being as the citizens see fit. This is accomplished with respect for other rights specifically stated in the Constitution that are reserved for the federal government.
Our country faces great economic challenges next year. The debt and ongoing deficits must be reduced. This will impact government programs. States should be given the rights to manage their own economic affairs and to prioritize government services as they see fit with respect to the due process clause of the Constitution. This economic restructuring required to deal with the debt and deficits is unavoidable. There is no possible way to tax our way out, spend our way out, borrow our way out, print our way out, or grow our way out of this problem. It requires reform and restructuring.
The two primary candidates running for the President of the United States in 2012, President Barak Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, have two completely different ideological positions on the application of the Constitution. The President believes in what I would call Executive Privilege. He has used Executive Orders as an Executive Branch power to implement policy rather than to facilitate laws passed by the Legislative Branch. The President has pursued such actions without the consent of Congress, the courts, or the state legislatures. He acts as if the popular vote authorizes the presidency to formulate federal policy without limit in reference to states’ rights. These states’ rights were clearly intended to be protected by the Tenth Amendment.
Governor Romney has indicated that the Constitution is the founding document on which all policy must be based. Most recently, after the tragic attack on our Embassy in Benghazi, Governor Romney’s immediate response was that this act violated international law and our rights as U.S. citizens as established by the Constitution of the United States.
Governor Romney has been criticized by some for being a Mormon. I find this curious given the fact that little criticism has been given to the President who belonged to a church headed by a pastor who condemned the United States of America.
The Mormon Church is the only religion that has canonized the Constitution of the United States as biblical truth. The scripture in point is Doctrine and Covenants, Section 101, Verses 77-80. In verse 80 the Lord is speaking, “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.”
Mormons believe the principles within the Constitution are eternal principles given to us from God Himself for the benefit of all mankind. They support the Constitution, they revere it, and they will defend it with all their strength. It is fundamental to their belief.
If you are an evangelical and concerned about the federalization of moral values without consideration of the 9th or 10th Amendment, if you are a small business owner concerned about unfair taxes from a big business viewpoint, if you are a community banker concerned about onerous regulations based upon the concept of “big banks are too big to fail,” if you are worried about federal judges who legislate from the bench and do not respect the Constitution or state laws, then Governor Romney is the answer for your security.
Within the next few months, this doctrine of states’ rights will be tested to the maximum as federal spending will be restructured and reconstituted. The states will have to decide how to restructure unfunded mandates such as health care. It is absolutely critical that the governors maintain control of their states as the chief executive officers, no matter what crisis emerges.
The Constitution has stood as the document of liberty for the world since its inception. Not only does it deserve respect, it deserves to be obeyed. Our rights come from the Creator. The Constitution is the document, in the course of human history, that respects those rights and establishes individual liberty. In the United States, birth is not destiny, elected officials and governments have limited power, states have all rights not reserved to the federal government, and government is not sovereign over its citizens. The outcome of the Constitutional application to our impending problems is critical to the course of the United States and the future liberty of children.
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