The Constitution Strikes Back

“It’s the vote heard ’round the world,” Dwight Janson, 53, from Glendale, MO told reporters.  Many other freedom loving Americans would agree.

Passed overwhelmingly last week by Missouri voters, Proposition C is a ballot measure which prohibits the government from requiring citizens to have health insurance or from punishing them for not having it.  This is problematic for the Obama administration because this so called ‘mandate’ is an integral part of their soon to be enacted healthcare plan.  If President Obama and the Democrat congress can’t compel Americans to buy their insurance, a monkey wrench of considerable size is thrown into the works of their larger scheme.

As for Dwight Janson, he just voted for the bill because he wanted to make a difference. “I was tired of sitting on the sidelines bouncing my gums,” he said.  Dwight was not the only Missourian eager to take action.

By a 3 to 1 margin, voters approved Prop C, a stunning and worrying rebuke for President Obama – worrying in that Missouri is a prototypical ‘swing state’ and the voting behavior of such a middle-of-the-road electorate may well signal a wider, national trend.

Indeed, whenever Americans trend towards defending the constitution, those who hold the reigns of governmental power should take note, because constitutionality is really what is at issue in the matter of Obama v. the citizens of Missouri.

The Federal government can’t order its citizens to buy anything – fruit, toothbrushes, health insurance, you name it.  Such power is not enumerated to the feds within the constitution, so it is forbidden.

The problem with President Obama and the Democrat congress is that they, and generations of liberal lawmakers before them, never seem to grasp the fact that the constitution exists to restrain governmental authority, not to encourage it.  Nowhere is this more aptly demonstrated than within the Bill of Rights – the explicit inventory of individual freedoms upon which the government cannot tread.

In short, the constitution is the rule book that government has to play by, and when federal lawmakers interpret it in ways which clearly violate its meaning (like say conjuring up the authority to require people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States) the people and the states must fight back.

This is why Missouri’s vote is so inspiring. Similar votes will be held in Arizona, Louisiana and Oklahoma during midterm elections in November.

Of course, the courts will eventually settle the matter conclusively, but it cannot help but thrill the heart when we consider that it was average Americans who first manned the battlements to resist.

Remember it was James Madison, the father of our Constitution, who said, “The powers delegated … to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”

It elevates all of us when the people of our states demand that power back.

What led Americans to fire the initial ‘shot heard ‘round the world’ was the tyranny of a government which knew no checks upon its power, which was entirely unbounded.  The present struggle is about restraining a government which aspires to such unbounded status.  The people of Missouri have fired the opening salvo.

Stephen DeMaura is the President of Americans for Job Security which can be found on the web at www.SaveJobs.org.

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