by Travis Rowley
Speaking primarily on freedom of thought, Thomas Jefferson once defended the libertarian ideal by acknowledging a lack of personal injury as long as someone’s offense “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
While there is probably much to be added to Jefferson’s sentiment, particularly in terms of an undergirding religion that is compatible with individual liberty, there is still a lot there for freedom-loving conservatives to embrace.
The idea is this: The cause of liberty is made more secure when we all agree to tolerate much of what our countrymen say and do, so long as we are not forced to pay for it.
Calvin Coolidge emphasized fiscal autonomy in this way: “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government, and more for themselves. This is the chief meaning of freedom.”
This political laissez faire has always permeated American culture, helping to enshrine states’ rights not only into the national consciousness, but into the Constitution as well.
After all, our pockets are much less likely to be picked by a local treasury than a federal one.
Moreover, if terrible ideas are allowed to be spoken and implemented (including violations of Natural Law) but not subsidized, how long might those local experiments last?
If our neighbors wish to live like heathens, simply allow them to. God will quickly sort that out.
Something like that.
Unfortunately, Americans have long been forced to fund all types of depravity via the Washington wealth incinerator.
Every American taxpayer subsidizes abortion.
Every American taxpayer props up urban socialism – those worker utopias and their pension fantasies.
And Democrat-run cities across the country, while receiving Washington bucks, are currently instituting racist wealth redistribution – justified by the euphemism “Reparations for Slavery.”
Isn’t it a most obvious tyranny whenever someone is forced to fund something he finds morally reprehensible?
But I guess “We Are All Socialists Now.”
That’s how Newsweek’s Jon Meacham hailed America’s “mixed economy” after the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
The exhausting threats from alternating presidents to withhold federal funds from localities that don’t cooperate with their agendas must have partially influenced Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green to tweet her yearning for a “National Divorce” recently.
Oddly enough, Green’s comment appeared almost simultaneously with a speech from the Senate floor by Senator Rand Paul, who recounted the outlook of legendary Tennessee congressman Davy Crockett. It was a necessary reminder that the public treasury is no place, morally or constitutionally, for charity or pet projects.
“We must not permit … our sympathy for [the living] to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity. But as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”
According to Crockett, those who would violate this principle …
“either … have not the capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you’re wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it … The Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions … The people have delegated Congress, by the Constitution, the power to certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation and a violation of the Constitution … When Congress begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it and no security for the people.”
Schism is not the solution to American’s cold civil war. Rather, the solution rests with a moral emphasis on personal honor. And a revitalization of the federalism embedded within the US Constitution.
Conservative Republicans should lean into their current Supreme Court advantage, and begin to challenge every federal overreach. They should begin to deliver power and decisions back to the People and their respective States.
Republicans should begin to demonstrate that wonderful constitutional irony – that it’s the divorce that weds us.