Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States Rights

Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States Rights

An Op/Ed by Jason Lewis

Whenever you write a book, invariably people ask "Why did you write this book now?"  While the idea for "Power Divided is Power Checked: The ArgumentforStates Rights" is as old as the founding documents themselves, there was an urgency in my mind towards reinvigorating the framers' intention at this particular moment.

We are at a tipping point in America of which there may be no going back if we choose the wrong path.  And while everyone (at least those on the left) bemoans the fact that the country appears to be so polarized, no one asks why.  I think I know one reason.

People have always had differing views on the size of government in a free society.  In the modern era, however, we have abandoned the live and let live philosophy of federalism for the ‘one size fits all’ imposition of consolidated power. The result is a spoils system bordering on mob rule by allowing Leviathan government to impose its will on the rest of the country. This is the antithesis of republican architecture.

James Madison wrote of the new central government that it could not “be deemed a national one since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several states, a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.”  In short, the genius of the framers was to craft a system of governance that would account for the diversity of men by allowing separate jurisdictions--known as states--to compete for the governed.

A Republic then embraces a division of power that emphasizes local control “extended over a large region.”  It is neither a monarchy nor a democracy, but a filtered majority refined with representation and constrained by the separation of powers.  The most important of which, expressed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, being vertical in nature.

Why is this important?  Because the most divisive issues of the day are no longer being decided by everyday citizens crafting the laws under which they live, but by a federal behemoth overstepping its constitutional boundaries.

For instance, while the Civil War Amendments were appropriately designed to eradicate any and all forms of state racial preferences, they were not (contrary to a century of judicial activism) meant to “incorporate” federal review over every imaginable dispute.  Most of those--from religion to education to crime and punishment--fell squarely under the power of the states to police the law.

At the same time, regulating commerce among the states was never intended to nationalize control over the economy.  Indeed, the federal health care law (Obamacare for the unpersuaded) itself now rests tenuously upon the twin posts of an elastic commerce clause and a bizarre view (hatched at a cocktail party during the New Deal) of an unlimited federal taxing and spending power. Believe it or not, there was a time when state tax burdens were of greater concern to the average worker than the federal one. The demise of fiscal federalism has conclusively put an end to that.

The point is this: if any given state wants to bailout business, subsidize health care, and legalize abortion and gay marriage, let them do it.  As long as every other state is free to enact the opposite policy.  In 1962 it was President John F. Kennedy who (perhaps unwittingly) reminded a nation on the doorstep of expanding centralized power, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Breaking up the monopoly in Washington may be the surest way to diffuse today’s political hostilities.  But that of course would require the most progressive of pundits to stand down on the issue of national government and in the process rediscover the virtue of exactly what they’ve demonized for so long: states’ rights.

And that's why I wrote "Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States' Rights."

Jason Lewis is a nationally syndicated talk show host and a columnist for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.  He is also the author of “Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States’ Rights” from Bascom Hill Publishing.

There are new curriculum standards being implemented into schools throughout the nation for health classes that not only go far beyond what's appropriate for young children, but are entrenched in clear political biases, too. Under the standards, third-graders are taught about hormone blockers and endless gender identities, and topics get shockingly graphic for kids as young as 11. Some schools are even teaching their teachers and kids to ignore what parents have to say about these topics. And the worst part may be that many parents are completely unaware what their children are being taught.

Tina Descovich, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain exactly what you can ask at your next school board meeting to ensure this "horrifying" curriculum isn't being taught in your kid's school.

Watch the video clip below:

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It should come as no surprise that a newsworthy story receives more media coverage when released on a Monday than a Friday. The reason is in part due to a large number of news-consuming Americans checking out for the week to focus on their weekend plans rather than the news.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck shared information that President Joe Biden decided to release on Friday — when fewer people would notice — regarding the Climate Finance report. This report is marketed to Americans as "A Roadmap To Build a Climate-Resilient Economy." But Glenn believes the report to be Biden's Great Reset warning shot to banks.

In this clip, Glenn warned that if Americans don't stand together, in eight years we all indeed will own nothing. Watch the clip for the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.



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On today's radio program, Glenn Beck was joined by Bill O'Reilly to discuss the top stories of the week.

For O'Reilly, the biggest story this week centered around someone mysteriously missing from mainstream media news reports today: Mark Zuckerberg. Specifically, O'Reilly said it's the 'scandalous' way the Facebook CEO spent nearly $420 million to influence the 2020 election — and did so successfully.

Watch the clip to hear the full conversation. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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On Thursday's radio program, Grace Smith and her father, Andy, joined Glenn Beck on the phone and provided a first-hand account of Grace's refusal to wear a mask at school.

Smith, 16, began a maskless protest after her school district in Laramie, Wyoming, decided to implement a mask mandate. As a result, Grace received three suspensions, was issued two $500-citations, and was eventually arrested.

"How long were you in jail?" Glenn asked.

Grace said was taken to jail but was never booked nor was she was placed in a jail cell.

Glenn commended Grace's father, Andy, for raising such a "great citizen" and asked if it was Grace's idea to protest. Andy said it was Grace's idea, explaining that they took the position of arguing on the grounds of civil rights rather than the efficacy of wearing a mask.

Grace has since withdrawn from public school and started a home school program. She also told Glenn that she will continue to fight the school district, legally.

You can donate to Grace's legal fund here.

To hear more from this conversation click here.

Disclaimer: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-19 and/or COVID vaccine related questions & concerns.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.