Freedom Discussions

Distrusting Government

by Walter E Williams

0MRgfRecent opinion polls demonstrate a deepening distrust of the federal government. That’s not an altogether bad thing. Our nation’s founders recognized that most human abuses are the result of government. As Thomas Paine said, “government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” Because of their fear of abuse, the Constitution’s framers sought to keep the federal government limited in its power. Their distrust of Congress is seen in the governing rules and language used throughout our Constitution. The Bill of Rights is explicit in that distrust, using language such as Congress shall not abridge, shall not infringe and shall not deny and other shall-nots, such as disparage, violate and deny. If the framers did not believe that Congress would abuse our God-given, or natural, rights, they would not have provided those protections. I’ve always suggested that if we see anything like the Bill of Rights at our next destination after we die, we’ll know that we’re in hell. A perceived need for such protection in heaven would be an affront to God. It would be the same as saying we can’t trust him.

Other framer protections from government are found in the Constitution’s separation of powers, checks and balances, and several anti-majoritarian provisions, such as the Electoral College, the two-thirds vote to override a veto and that two-thirds of state legislatures can call for reconvening the constitutional convention, with the requirement that three-quarters of state legislatures ratify changes to the Constitution.

The heartening news for us is that state legislatures are beginning to awaken to their duty to protect their citizens from unconstitutional acts by the Congress, the White House and a derelict Supreme Court. According to an Associated Press story, about four-fifths of the states now have local laws that reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a measure threatening felony charges against federal agents who enforce certain firearms laws in his state.

Missouri legislators recently enacted the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which in part reads that not only is it the right of the state Legislature to check federal overreaching but that “the Missouri general assembly is duty-bound to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the basis of the Union of the States, because only a faithful observance of those principles can secure the nation’s existence and the public happiness.” The bill further declares that the Missouri General Assembly is “firmly resolved to support and defend the United States Constitution against every aggression, either foreign or domestic.” The legislation awaits Gov.

Jay Nixon’s signature or veto.


Both lower houses of the South Carolina and Oklahoma legislatures enacted measures nullifying Obamacare on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional intrusion and violation of the 10th Amendment. You might say, “Williams, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled Obamacare constitutional, and that settles it. Federal law is supreme.” It’s worth heeding this warning from Thomas Jefferson: “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” Jefferson and James Madison, in 1798 and 1799 in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, said, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … and whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” In other words, heed the 10th Amendment to our Constitution, which reads, “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.” That’s the message state legislatures should send to Washington during this year’s celebration of our Declaration of Independence.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Militant Libertarian

Site owner, philosopher, certified genius, and general pain in the establishment's ass.

1 Comment


To quote:
You might say, “Williams, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled Obamacare constitutional, and that settles it. Federal law is supreme.”

Well, there are several problems with that answer even beyond Jefferson.
To me, these things highlight that Federal Law, while concluded as “supreme” via force of arms in the Civil War, show that Federal Law is worthless, prima facie.
-Drugs: Either illegal or not. Like Prohibition. We know how well that worked out. UNDERSCORES that the FedGov, like the locals, are all about stealing money from the citizens at point of arms.
– Abortion: Same deal. In order to determine if there should in fact be any question of legality, we first need to decide what constitutes life, so there is a clear definition to start from. If we say “live birth,” it’s a dodge – if the infant cannot breath on its own, we still record it as a “live” birth – though it should eb seen as stillborn. If we determine it’s by passage through the birth canal, then we rule non-human all those born via cesarian. If we allow both of those, what about a child whose mother dies, but the child is delivered during that death? Is that a C-section? Or something else? Do we allow infanticide (Planned Parenthood and such are saying yes, I understand, some loon was going on about how a woman and her doctor should be able to decide to kill a born child, if it was “accidentally” born during an abortion attempt, etc.)
– If federal law is supreme, how can ANY state make a law that contradicts federal law? Yet we have them, under guise of the 10th Amendment – which actually was murdered in the Civil War. I mean, if a state can’t decide that the Feds don’t have it’s interests in mind when ruling, then why CAN’T that state secede? The comparison would be divorce – it would be telling a woman she MUST stay with her drunken, abusive husband, for the good of the children, even though the children are also being abused. Where does it end, when the FedGov controls us all?

How about the FBI? Can they take over EVERY criminal case now, sinc ethe commerce clause has been used to rule OniggerCare legal? (I will NOT apologise for that term, either, as our current POTUS has EARNED it, even more than the last 4.) Maybe the term “can” is incorrect – I probably should’ve said, the FBI MUST take over. No legal reason for local cops, if the Feds are exerting police power over all jurisdictions via Federal law…

How about taxes? Are state and local taxes valid? Can only the Feds decide to wage war? Or could a state decide to go to war and call up the National Guard? (Also, if the Nat’l Guard is the “militia”, Why the F not? OTOH, more people should learn what constitutes “well regulated” and “Militia” in language of the time. We are NOT a well-regulated society, for instance, though we are ruled through force very well.)

If the “umbras and penbumbras” of the Constitution were fully examined, I’m certain we’d find a LOT more issues. Is FedGov allowed to decide who can drink from which water fountain? Why or why not? How about segregation: They ruled it’s unConstitutional, yet they’ve since FORCED integration everywhere – to the point of such abominations as the Bachi decision, stating that “whites” cannot be discriminated against, and therefore cannot benfit from any anti-discrimination laws. Is this not de facto disrimination AGAINST whites? Because when people discriminated in FAVOR of whites, well – THAT was illegal.

Keep looking – flouridation of water (Flouride is poison, BTW – even before we add to our water supply a toxic waste from aluminum processing); chlorination, too (chlorine same elementary family as flourine, VII on periodic table, second-to-last column, highly reactive / corrosive.)
Can the Feds decide how much salt you can eat? Will they count the flouride and chloride in the drinking water?

If the State is the ultimate arbiter of right & wrong – can we just go to another State? Russia’s a lot freer these days, i’m told. So is most of South America. And Asia.
And of note, West Virginia Seceded from Virginia during the Civil War – so it was legal when of benefit to FedGov, but illegal the rest of the time.

Remember that: If it benefits Mother USSA, it’s good and legal; if it benefits the citizen, it’s illegal, and in the statist mindset, IMMORAL – justifying their use of any and all force against you, law be damned. So they’ll break down your door at 3 AM with a SWAT assault – for unpaid parking tickets.

Legal or not, it’s DEFINITELY immoral. And violates even the Castle doctrine, which forbade even the King from entering a hovel, without the owner’s permission.

We don’t HAVE law any more, so to even try and sort through the 10,000 pages or so of FEDERAL (only) law is ridiculous. And since cops don’t even need to know the law to enforce it (WTF?), why should WE still not be able to plead ignorance of the law? 10,000 pages of Fed Law; How many of State, and how many more of Local?

Any bets on which laws block which laws, as it is?

“Three felonies a day.” The average we commit without knowing it, per day, doing normal things. I have a bio-hazard – a mercury amalgam filling. It would close a lake to have that amount of mercury in it, but in my head? PREFECTLY FINE. And in our lightbulbs, MANDATED by FedGov (and CFLs and Floursecents cause cataracts) – we cannot CHOOSE a cheap and effective solution, like, say, INCANDESCENT bulbs? (Or LEDs, incresingly expensive; Halogen, risky in some ways, but good for light – prohibitively costly). How about we look at CALIFORNIA forcing regulations on car manufacturers? Tell me again who is supreme law of the land? Tell me why we can’t get better gas mileage than the cars of the 70s? (Because of all the MANDATORY safety crap, BTW – which tends to keep the BAD drivers alive. Drunk t-bones another car, guess who walks away? Thank you AIRBAGS. Anti-lock brakes? Disks instead of drums? An extra 1,000 pounds in equipment. And soon coming to your car, radar to FORCE you to slow down when a vehicle / object is “too close.” And cars nagging about wearing your seat belts, while cops are using night vision to see if you have your seat belt on. And the cops can TELL if you have your seatbelt on, going the opposite direction, at 30 MPH, on a bridge, at night…? )

To summarize: the whole system was deisgned to take resources from US and give to THEM. The system is working as designed. And it is as Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged: the purpose of the law is to CREATE criminals, to make laws which cannot be followed. what better way to accomplish this than make arbitrary, nonsensical laws, which contradict each other?

Throw it ALL away, the baby’s gone, it’s only bathwater now. We HAVE the blueprints to start over.


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