I have often found myself wearing a few different hats when it comes to politics.  My personal views are libertarian in nature.  I really do believe in both the non-aggression principle and in property rights.  I also support the Constitution even when there are aspects of it which are anti-libertarian.  The term “Tenther” also applies to me as well.

Remember, the Constitution doesn’t grant us our rights, but acknowledges the natural rights we have which predates it.  There are also instances where the Constitution does legally violate our rights.  I would argue that the eminent domain clause of the Constitution is such a case.  The government shouldn’t be able to force me off my land unless I am willing to sell it.  Some will argue that sometimes public need justifies it.  Well, I would suggest reviewing the Kelo v. City of New London case in which transferred land from individuals to another private group.  This shows how granting power to a government entity will eventually abuse the said power.

Some libertarians, Anarcho-Capitalists who want a stateless society are critical of the Constitution.  I do have sympathy with these views, but let us get the country back to the original intent of the Constitution first and then we will talk.  Recently on the Tom Woods Show, Anarcho-Capitalist Walter Block even acknowledged that truly following the Constitution is better than what we have currently.  Granted, he still prefers the stateless society.

I do want to warn libertarians and other liberty minded individuals that we don’t have the right to force our views on others.  For example, I couldn’t stop an individual from moving to then Hitler’s Berlin or Stalin’s Moscow.  I do have the natural right of free speech and try to persuade this individual not to go.   However, I can’t use force to stop them.  Using force to stop them would be a violation of the non-aggression principle.

The same concept can be applied to the United States.  As a resident of Texas, I have no moral authority to force my views on California.  Therefore, I shouldn’t expect Congress to force my views on other states who don’t share them.

The Tenther Hat is also important to acknowledged.  We have been taught to believe that many things which are Constitutional just because black robed figures in Washington have said so.  We have also stood in our classrooms with our hands over hearts saying, “One nation, under God, indivisible”

Statists have much easier control with the one nation concept.  They have butchered meanings of the commerce, general welfare and necessary and proper clauses.  They have also conveniently ignored the Tenth Amendment.  It is much easier to force an agenda if you control one city instead of fighting control over fifty different cities.

Clearly, the original intent of the Constitution is meant to be of one union divided.  This is why being a Tenther is so important. Statists can’t win going up against the original intent of the Constitution.  To justify their actions, they have even created new terms.  Many statists call the Constitution “Organic” or “Living” stating that it needs to evolve for the times.  This is such a ridiculous notion since the founding fathers gave us the means to amend it if necessary.  Supreme Court Justice Souter actually believes in this nonsense.  

However, the founding fathers concept of federalism was simply brilliant.  Several SOVEREIGN states forming a union which would address many of the international issues while creating a free trade pact among them. A citizen of one state can freedom to move to another one if it was in their interest to do so.

So this means the states are completing for our citizenship and thus our tax dollars.  The system should be that we would an union where we have the freedom to move to a state that shares our views instead of a nation that is forcing its one size fits all policy on all fifty provinces.

However, juggling these three hats can be a struggle at times.  A great example is what Libertarian Activist Julie Borowski posted the following on her Facebook Page:

I was in an interesting debate about Lawrence v. Texas today. This is the Supreme Court case that struck down the sodomy law in Texas. A consistent libertarian would argue that sodomy laws are anti-liberty. Was the Supreme Court right to struck down this state law? Or is it only a state issue?

There were many liberty minded commentators who supported this decision.  The part of me that is strong on natural rights is glad that this law was struct down.  Consenting adults should not be brought up on charges for actions in the privacy of their bedrooms.  However, was this the best way to have this law revoked?  No, I don’t think so.

The Supreme Court did take the morally correct position, but didn’t have the legal Constitutional authority to do so.  Texas is still a sovereign state and has the right to be stupid.  If the sodomy law is an important issue to you, then you have the right not to live in Texas.  It should be the duty of liberty oriented citizens of Texas to eventually change the law.  Not mandated by Supreme Court then applied to the rest of the union.

The Bill of Rights were never meant to be applied to the states, but to the federal government.  A great example is our modern view of freedom of religion.  The purpose of the phrase in the Bill of Rights was that the union wouldn’t create a state religion.

However when the Constitution was ratified, there were a few states that had established state religions.  Joshua Lyons, co-host of the Forgotten Men Radio show, has done a great job putting information together on this point.

He cites four examples where the state constitutions did have some element of religion to them.  There was no expectation that the states to change their state constitutions in leu of the ratification of the federal constitution.

Now many will argue that the Fourteenth Amendment did incorporate the Bill of Rights unto the states.  This isn’t the case.  Laurence Vance wrote an excellent article for the Tenth Amendment Center on this point.

He cites the example of the Blaine Amendment. After the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment,  Speaker of the House James Blaine introduced the Blaine Amendment which would applied the First Amendment to the States.  It passed in the House but failed in the Senate.

So if the Fourteenth Amendment did incorporate the Bill of Rights, why would the Speaker of the House submit an Constitutional Amendment to incorporate the First Amendment later?

As I pointed out earlier, libertarians or other liberty oriented folks have to understand that we can’t force our values on others no matter how right we feel we are.

The founder’s brilliance is that they created a system where the states can adopt many political philosophies and thus creating a free market of systems for the people to choose from.  Again, I have no moral authority from stopping California from going a more collectivist route.  All I can do is argue for individual rights here in Texas.  The federal government should just go back to dealing with international relations, free trade within the union and handling disputes between the states.

Could a libertarian ask for more than a free market of political philosophies to choose from?

Or maybe I should just go back to juggling hats?


The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.