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.

As the Senate prepares for former President Trump's second impeachment trial, many are asking whether it's constitutional to try a president after leaving office. Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and host of the of "The Dershow," joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to talk about the legal battles Trump still faces.

Dershowitz said he believes the Senate doesn't have the authority to convict Trump, now that he's a private citizen again, and thus can't use impeachment to bar him from running for office again.

"The Constitution says the purpose of impeachment is to remove somebody. He [Trump] is out of office. There's nothing left to do.
It doesn't say you can impeach him to disqualify him for the future. It says, if you remove him you can then add disqualification, but you can't just impeach somebody to disqualify them," Dershowitz said.

"The Senate can't try ordinary citizens. So once you're an ordinary citizen, you get tried only in the courts, not in the Senate. So it's clearly unconstitutional," he added.

Dershowitz, who served on Trump's legal team during the first impeachment trial, also discussed whether he thinks Trump is legally (or even just ethically) responsible for the Capitol riot earlier this month, and whether those engaging in violence could be considered "domestic terrorists."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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A new, shocking CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans believe they're facing a new enemy: other Americans.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents said they believe democracy in the U.S. is "threatened," and 54% said "other people in America" are the "biggest threat to the American way of life," rather than economic factors, viruses, natural disasters, or foreign actors.

Will it be possible to unite our nation with statistics like that? On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn and Stu discussed the poll numbers and what they mean for our future.

Watch the video clip below:

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Countless leaders on the left are now arguing that removing President Donald Trump from office won't be enough — they're now calling for the president's "cult-like" supporters to be "deprogrammed." And it's not just fringe politicians.

During an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week, former NBC anchor Katie Couric said, "The question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump."

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi questioned whether the nation needs "a 9/11-type commission" to determine whether President Trump was colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin "the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol." Clinton also made sure to include her favorite "deplorables" in her unsubstantiated conspiracy theory:

"But we now know that not just [Trump] but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members, have the same disregard for democracy," Clinton said to Pelosi.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and New York Times Magazine's Nikole Hannah-Jones agreed that there is a need for "millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans" to be deprogrammed and punished, during an MSNBC interview last week.

Now, a story from the Washington Post is also preaching that narrative and even added that we need more restrictions for conservatives on social media and in the broadcast industry.

"So now we have to be deprogrammed? We've heard this over and over and over and over again, for months," said Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday. He read through the shocking details of the Washington Post op-ed and discussed the extraordinary dangers of the latest anti-conservative movement in America.

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As calls for censorship and restrictions against conservative voices get louder, Glenn Beck said he feels an "awesome responsibility" to speak, not the words he'd personally like to say, but those he believes the Lord would want him to share.

"It's an awesome responsibility, and one that I am not worthy of," Glenn said. "I want to say ... what He wants me to say. And I have to listen very carefully, because I feel the same way you do. But that will get us nowhere."

Glenn said it's time for Americans who are awake — not woke — to come together, no matter which side of the political aisle you're on, and stand with the truth.

"We are the Alamo, we will stand. But we desperately, desperately need you," Glenn said. "We need the people who are awake — not woke — awake. You may disagree with us. We are your allies, not your enemies. And if you will not stand with us in our hour of need, there will be no one left to stand with you in your hour of need. We must all come together, anyone who is awake."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

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