What is, Isn’t

There was a lot of talk from Tea Party folks and others about State’s rights recently.  The only problem (or I guess you say “concern”) I have over that, is that from listening to these folks they’ve misunderstood the meaning of that phrase.  This probably stems from a lack of knowledge when it comes to original intent.

Instead of State’s rights, they mean States’ rights.  But it shouldn’t be States’ it should be State’s; and the word “rights” shouldn’t be “rights” but “Powers.”


In the founding concept of American liberty, the primary purpose of government is to guarantee the rights of the people, which are derived from God.  To accomplish this primary function of government, the power to govern was divided between a person’s State and The (several) States as a group (AKA the central government).  States’ is the plural possessive.  It references The States as a group and is thus the same as saying Federal Rights.  So it seems that people today have lost part of the basic concept before they even got started. 

But again I would even argue that they’ve misunderstood the difference between “rights” and “powers.”  Remember; rights are given to the people by God, not to their state, not to a group of states, or to a central government.  States do not have rights; they have powers to govern that have been granted by the sovereign people.  That is the concept of American liberty.  Government at every level is supposed to execute only those powers for which the people have granted the authority.  Any debate that begins with the “Rights” of any government at any level, has most likely been lost from the outset.  Even if the effort seems to have initial success, in the end, it only winds up chipping away at our God given rights.

So; it should be easy to identify what State’s Rights (or more accurately, State’s Powers) are not.  States’ Rights are not a slogan to be used to stop Obama-Care, or Obama-Cap and Tax, or any other of the Obama socialist programs coming out of Washington D.C. like a swarm of locusts.  States’ Rights are not a slogan to stop the Bush Patriot Acts or Bush CAFTA and other expensive trade agreements.  By the same token, States’ Righs are not a slogan to stop DFACS from illegal search and seizures, or some idiot telling me that I’ll be fined for the dust from my field blowing into my neighbors field.

States’ Rights are not the answer because once you concede Rights to any government entity you have lost that Right.  Even worse, is that your children and grandchildren will never even know that it is something that you lost and that they were denied. 

Today; the debate should be about how State Powers will be used as a check on Federal Powers to guarantee our God-given Rights.  It should be about how delegated Powers given to the Federal Government will be used to guarantee our God-given Rights in areas that extend beyond the State in which we live.  Otherwise, all the rhetoric, and all the use of today’s improper definition of States’ Rights will only determine how fast we go over the cliff.

Most of us got out and voted because we see that American liberty was rapidly approaching that cliff.  But until government (both State and Federal) began to move in the realm of their delegated authority once more, all we’ve done is slow the speed in which we’re approaching it.

We must demand that all levels of government keep their hands off our God-given Rights unless the people grant them a Power to do so.  If those we’ve elected are not willing to abide by this restriction, we should retire them quickly.

Arguing about which level of government will do a better job abusing our God-given Rights makes for interesting partisan battles, but it’s a formula for failure year after year, election after election, and generation after generation – as we have seen.  After all, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: