Many Americans balk at the idea of states nullifying unconstitutional acts because they view it as rebellion against the United States.
I think this stems from the fact that so many Americans view the federal government and their beloved country as one and the same. We learn this from our very earliest days in grade school. Teachers line the walls with pictures of presidents. We take school trips to Washington D.C. to see the magnificent buildings and monuments built to and for government. We learn history through the lens of government action – military triumphs and legislative successes. And gradually, we begin to perceive any criticism of the U.S. government as criticism of the United States itself. To challenge the federal government and its policies in any way is to denigrate the greatness of the country. And as good, patriotic Americans, that makes us angry.
But in truth, we don’t find America’s greatness on Capitol Hill, or in the White House Oval Office, or in the judges’ chambers in the Supreme Court building. It’s not the IRS, the TSA or the FDA that make the United States a place people risk their lives to come and build a life. We find America’s greatness in the fundamental principles written into the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence – principles rooted in freedom and liberty.Details