was a prepared statement for the 10th Amendment Forum in Orlando,
FL on 08-22-09
First of all,
thank you for allowing me a few moments to be here with you today
– it’s an honor to be able to speak with you, even if
it’s from the other side of the country where I am here in
Los Angeles, California.
As the founder
of the Tenth Amendment Center, I’m often asked – why the
Tenth Amendment? Why do we need it? And I truly believe that’s
just what people like you and I were asking back in the time when
this country was founded, too.
But, the answer
isn’t complex. It isn’t difficult. It’s simple and
it’s easy to understand. The People of the day, the Founding
Generation, like so many of us today, recognized that a government
of strictly limited powers is the only one that has a chance of
protecting our liberty – and that’s just the kind of government
that the People created when they ratified the Constitution so many
They did this
because they knew through their own life experience, that a government
without limits is a tyranny.
The 10th Amendment
was ratified as an exclamation point on the Constitution –
and it lays out in plain English that our federal government is
to be one of limited, enumerated powers – not the nearly unlimited,
unchecked one that it has become today.
It truly is
our modern line in the sand. On one side, we have those who believe
in limiting the power of politicians, and on the other are those
that trust the government to do everything.
The 10th Amendment
is the safety valve that makes it clear, especially in conjunction
with the 9th, that it was The People who created the federal government
to be our agent for certain enumerated purposes…….and
federal government didn’t create itself – and the state
governments didn’t create it either. It was The People who
created the federal government, and it is the People who are sovereign
in the American system. This couldn’t have been more clearly
stated than it was in the Federalist Papers, #22. And here’s
fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of
THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought
to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate
And that wasn’t
Madison or Jay. It was the man who at the time was seen as the greatest
believer in centralized power, Alexander Hamilton. So, back then,
even the great centralizer recognized that power comes from the
People. And that’s the way it was at the beginning – and
that’s the way it is today.