I'm writing this as an American citizen who is both appreciative for and concerned about our unique system of government. It is my concern that causes me to reflect on a speech given by Edward Erler, professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino California. Dr. Erler delivered a speech at a National Leadership Seminar held in Dallas Texas last May and has appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on the issue of birthright citizenship as well as being the co-author of a book entitled The Founders On Citizenship And Immigration.
What Dr. Erler said has caught my attention. I'm going to be paraphrasing much of it but will attempt to capture the salient points that serve the purpose of this post.
One of his points made was that the Framers of our Constitution understood limited government in a different manner than is being propagated by the Tea Party movement of the present day. The Tea Party seems to be advocating a limited government which is synonymous with small government and is similar to what the Anti-Federalists held who opposed the ratification of our Constitution. They preferred a form of government in which the states held the top spot of priorities.
The Federalists, on the other hand, viewed it next to impossible to have a States/Federal system because any attempt to hold to both multiple states rights AND federal sovereignty was a lost cause since one or the other would have to give up their sovereignty and that would render ineffective the governing of the whole nation.
The framers decided on a new and unique system never before tried that James Madison called "partly national and partly federal." Madison explained his point this way..."For some purposes we will be one people: for other purposes, we will be many peoples. So for those purposes that concern the nation as a whole___the federal government will have sovereignty___complete and plenary power to accomplish the things assigned to its care in the Constitution." [Those things are principally found in Article I, section 8 of the Constitution.]
Dr. Erler went on to make a second point that if those assigned federal responsibilities are to be fulfilled, the federal government must be given the necessary means to achieve those ends. He also said..."If this entails large government___and today it does___then large government must be compatible with limited government."
But therein is the rub. If large government IS the antithesis of limited government as the Tea Party SEEMS to be saying, then we're in trouble. However, if limited government IS compatible with large government, because the issue is not the size of government, but the definition of limited, meaning the limited areas of concerns assigned, then we must make sure such assignments to the Fed are carefully approached and undertaken by the Fed in a fashion that does not allow for their violation. The States deserve that inherently.
So it is obvious that since by "Limited Government" is meant the limited range of responsibilities, then whether a violation does happen or not will always ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court of the USA.
I expect some major decisions are on the way. As an American citizen I'm watching and waiting with interest.