I was in complete disbelief when I heard someone running for the office of the president of the United States say something like “the Tenth Amendment run amok” because I realized that we were dealing with an authoritarian. His name is Rick Santorum. His style is deceptive because the substance of what he is saying may not run against what we happen to think. This enables him to hide the method that he uses. It is not the message that we should be concerned with, but the method he uses to deliver it. That method substitutes the authority of the law and Constitution with the authority of Rick Santorum.
The first thing that you should be aware of is the difference between rule by the authority of the law and the personal authority of another human being. The law is a flat, unbiased thing that states the rules we all agree to live by. It has no power of its own since it is words on paper, and the only authority it has is when the people voluntarily consent to it. It completely relies on the consent of the people because words on paper can’t throw people in jail.
The people have to assign someone to enforce it, and that role is reserved for the government. They execute the law precisely as it is written, not their own personal decisions as to how the people should live. A government that executes the law precisely as written is one where no person lives under the arbitrary power of another, since the only legal authority that exists is the words on paper known as the law. Once a government breaks away from executing the law, the people are not under the authority of the law, but under the raw authority of the very same people who were originally charged with enforcing it. This can only be described as a dictatorship.
Here enters Rick Santorum. When he says the Tenth Amendment run amok, he is saying that the authority of the Constitution should be overridden and replaced with his own personal authority. We may or may not agree with Rick Santorum about how other people should live, but those people are not subject to our own personal will. The reason for this is because no person is born under the authority of another, so the only common authority that can exist is the authority of the law itself.
When he says states, or even individuals, can’t decide the issue of gay marriage, illicit drugs, or whatever behavior he is offended by individually, he is really saying that the Tenth Amendment’s authority should be replaced with his view as to how other people should live. He has taken it upon himself to neutralize the authority of the Tenth Amendment and replace it with his own. Whose authority are you subject to? The law and the constitution or Rick Santorum’s personal commands.
This is the method that he uses which is subverting the authority of the law with his own authority of how other human beings should live. He does not posses the right to nullify the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution, but the Tenth Amendment can certainly nullify Rick Santorum.