As a freedom lover it fascinates me that for the first time in history a country created a Constitution that assured the supremacy of the governed over the governors. The Founders made sure, when correctly interpreted, this Constitution would never allow power to be centralized; they wanted to avoid the tyranny of England, ruled by the elite. Through this Constitution, people lent limited powers to government. As John Adams said, it was "made only for a moral and religious people" and was "wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
For the newborn country to flourish, its citizens had to entrust power to men of high morals, who respected the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice James Iredell believed Americans would never "trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own."
Representation that demonstrates a lack of morality or the religion of our founders would not represent the people, but their own interests. These interests would include using taxation of the populace for their own political agendas.
John Marshall perceptively wrote that "An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy." Not in his wildest dreams would he have imagined how Americans would allow the government to shackle them with taxes. Long past are the days when taxes on a beverage overthrew the government. And insightful was Thomas Payne when he wrote that "Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation."
Joseph Story predicted that Republics would "fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them."
If we continue to elect local representatives who disrespect our Constitution and the wishes of the Founders, what right have we to complain of a powerful, centralized federal government?
Ed Enderle, Huron
Candidate for state representative