Nolan Finley is a very conventional columnist for the Detroit News. Nolan has just published a very good column (for the most part) on the Tenth Amendment movement. However, he just has to get in that one little comment that separates him from the radical states’ rights movement (radical … meaning scholarly and “no surrender”):

Critics see the Tea Party’s failure to acquiesce to this reality as evidence of its outdated mindset. The kindest jabs find it amusingly quaint that its followers would read the Constitution and actually think it still means what it says. The more vicious connect the revulsion to an overpowering central government to arguments in favor of slavery and against civil rights. Once again, the attacks go, racists are hiding behind states’ rights.

All I can say to that is, “Wow.” I have been involved in the radical libertarian-freedom movement for twelve years in the sense that I’ve become known, and before that, about fifteen years before anyone knew anything about me. I have never found one states’ rights person in favor of slavery. There are groups of extremely racist hatemongers, and they are self-contained within their own very small bands of obscurity that revolve around online forums and philistine newsletters. They are a speck on the radar map, and they have no voice and no impact whatsoever.

Why is it that every tediously conventional writer who addresses this topic (Tenth Amendment/secession) feels the need to make that very visible distinction: “I am not a racist.” C’mon Nolan, dust off the cobwebs and get with the times. Otherwise, Nolan has written a good, introductory column for the general masses. He says:

Advocates of an ever-expanding central government have found good allies in the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which has been used to justify seizure of just about all economic activity, and in its call for Congress to provide for the “general welfare.”

General welfare is a wide avenue. It can easily be twisted to give the government the right to impose any mandate, take over any function, ban any behavior in the name of the common good.

Follow that string to the end and Congress can, under the general welfare guise, collectivize any of the rights guaranteed to individuals.

See Michael Boldin’s Tenth Amendment Center for the real thing.

Karen De Coster
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