Saturday, January 30, 2010

First and Tenth....

Car companies have designed and manufactured a lot of different styles of cars over the years. Some I thought were really sharp. Some I thought were too ugly to drive down the street. Back in my younger days, when I paid more attention to such things, and thought it mattered more, AMC seemed to have the corner on the ugly car market. The Pacer and Gremlin come to mind.

Last week a buddy of mine was showing me a new car that he had just purchased. It was some kind of an electric and gas combination, really tiny, and certainly not very attractive, in my mind, anyway. But I guess he liked it, just like the people that bought Pacers and Gremlins liked Pacers and Gremlins.

I kind of had the same feelings about my old buddy Stinky Wilmont's girlfriend, Rowena. An awful, spiteful woman, mean-spirited and bossy, and just a touch on the plain side. Still, Stinky thought the world and all of her, and I guess that was what mattered.

The saving grace in these instances was that I didn't have to buy a Pacer or a Gremlin if I didn't want to. I didn't even have to ride in one if I didn't want to, and to the best of my memory, I never did. Neither did I have to date Rowena, or even hang out with Stinky when Rowena was around. It seemed like a pretty workable solution, to me, anyway.

I'm thinking that maybe when the Founding Fathers put our Constitution together, a few of them may have had a buddy like Stinky, who had a girlfriend like Rowena. After they decided and listed specifically what duties the federal government would have, and what specifically it would be allowed to do, they tacked on the 10th Amendment, which states " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Again, sounds like a pretty workable solution to me. The government takes care of its enumerated duties, and we get to decide how to handle the rest of our business. While our founders may not have been able to foresee every issue that might arise, they seemed to realize that a central government probably wouldn't always be able to come up programs that suited everyone in the country.

Not that it hasn't tried. Currently, the federal government is working feverishly, amid occasional setbacks, to come up with a health care plan that will work for everyone in the country. We all know that it's not going to be able to come up with such a plan, and it wouldn't be a big deal, if, like AMC and its ugly cars, the American people could take it or leave it. But again, we all know that's not going to happen. That's not how the government works.

Somewhere along the line, the federal government decided that it was no longer going to honor the 10th Amendment, and then somewhere along the line most of the states and people decided that was okay, and pretty soon the federal government began to believe that it has the authority to dictate any solution to any problem it thinks we might have.

Fortunately, there is a growing movement among many people and states to reaffirm their 10th Amendment protections. Regarding the feds growing involvement in education, health care, gun rights, and the exploding debt that accompanies an ever growing government, people are looking for ways to simply say "thanks, but no thanks".

I saw a t-shirt one time that read "Life is too short to dance with ugly women". I don't know about that, but it is too short to drive ugly cars.

And it's way too short to let the government run it.



Blogger Mark Thomas said...

"Somewhere along the line, the federal government decided that it was no longer going to honor the 10th Amendment.."

I guess making such a claim is more comforting to some than "Somewhere along the line libertarians decided they didn't like the rest of the Constitution, so we pretend the 10th Amendment voids all else in the document.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

The Tenth Amendment doesn't void what is in the Constitution, Mark. It voids what isn't in the Constitution.

7:37 AM  

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