The tale of two controversies
Over the past several years two substantive controversies have dominated the political discourse in this country. No, I am not talking about transgender bathrooms, Russian election hacking, or a plethora of other B.S. minutia that the lame stream media have fixated on and which are all meaningless diversions from the real issues that confront us as a society. I am referring to border security and health care.
These two issues exemplify the political, social, and philosophical divide that envelops America at this time. These two issues couldn’t be more disparate in light of the foundation principles this country is built upon. Both are covered by the Constitution, one by inclusion and the other by exclusion.
As they are both important issues and one doesn’t take precedence over the other, let us address them in alphabetical order.
Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution orders the federal government to protect the states from invasion. This is a requirement of the federal government, something they must do. To quote, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.”
Now some will proclaim that hordes of illegal aliens and refugees streaming into our country does not constitute an invasion. Well, Webster’s dictionary defines invasion as “an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere, an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain.” While many think that an invasion happens only when an armed military force overruns a border, they would be mistaken. We have been invaded and the federal government not only has the authority to put an end to the invasion, it has the obligation to do so.
Alexander Hamilton warned, “The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another.” Hamilton maintained, the survival of the American republic depends upon “the preservation of a national spirit and a national character. To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”
There is another way to look at this issue. Do you have a lock on the doors of your house? Is that lock to ensure that no one can ever enter your house or that only those who are invited can enter your house. Is that lock to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your property? To end this debate, all that is required is that we consider a secure border no different than the door and the lock on our homes. The federal government has a duty to defend our sovereignty and to protect its citizens. Obfuscating this duty has been business as usual over the past 25 years and this failure of the federal government to fulfill this responsibility should be totally unacceptable to every citizen.
On the flip side, there is no constitutional power for the federal government to be involved with healthcare. I ask anyone reading this to show me the passage in the Constitution that confers to our federal government that authority. You can’t, because it does not exist.
Obamacare is merely a redistribution of wealth scheme. When a person’s healthcare is subsidized, wealth, in the form of the subsidy, is being transferred to them. From where does that wealth originate? The government doesn’t create wealth; it receives its money from the taxpayer. To follow the money as they say, taxes taken from the taxpayer are redistributed through Obamacare to the subsidized.
Some will quote the general welfare clause as Constitutional validation of redistributive policies. Progressives have completely distorted the meaning of that clause. They have substituted the 18th century definition with a modern reinterpretation that is the antithesis of the original. Before the progressive era, general welfare was defined as the overall state of wellbeing of the nation as a whole, not an individual’s wellbeing.
The confiscation of wealth from one group and transferring it to another group is not and was never the commission of the general welfare clause. Any study of the writings of the framers of the Constitution along with the balance of the founding fathers will show that redistributive programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Obamacare were clearly never meant to be the purview of the federal government.
James Madison, Father of the Constitution, stated, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”
The Supreme Court in 1795 found, “The preservation of property, then, is a primary of the social compact… the legislature, therefore, had no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without just compensation. It is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
To conclude, the political divide as epitomized by these two issues is not merely a difference of opinion, it is a divergence in the citizenry’s understanding of the legitimate role of the federal government. We have a group that supports the government ignoring its responsibilities as defined and interjecting itself in areas it has no authority. And we have another group who believes that the legitimate role is defined by the Constitution and the government’s authority is limited by the constraints set therein. At this point, I am not optimistic that these two groups can continue to live in harmony within the borders of one nation.
Area resident Jack Loesch is a longtime teacher at the University of Akron. Read his website at www.TorchnFork.info. He may be reached at: TorchNFork@frontier.com