For the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of witnessing local government in action. I write for the McCormick Messenger now, and get to cover County Council meetings and have been interviewing local candidates. From seeing how a county like McCormick operates, flawed though it may be at times, I have witness something else.
While people argue and debate, disagree and agree, they also at times gather to celebrate an important event in life or remember an important group of people. Only in a free society can people of different beliefs and backgrounds sit side by side and celebrate the future of high school graduates. Yet it was done. Only in a free society can two people of different ethnicity stand on equal ground and argue and debate about anything. Yet it happens. And only in a free society can the people be left to decide, once and for all, the final outcome. Yet we have that right and have been given that right from the very beginning.
Power lies with the states. The states decided the American Revolution, battled over the outcome of the Civil War, and came together and fought valiantly in the World Wars. They forged the Constitution; they molded a nation. And we must stand firm in the belief that the states are sovereign. It was not only granted by the Constitution but ordained by our Found Fathers in the belief that a government too large is too dangerous and that a government too small is paralyzed. So they gave the power to the states, and in doing so gave the power to the people.
“When the legislative an executive powers are united in the same person or body, there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner. Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the violence of an oppressor.” – Federalist Paper No. 47
The power was given to the states to avoid a tyrannical government. The division is there to promote the workings of freedom. And it is our duty to uphold that freedom. The truth has been understood by both sides, even it it is not now. It was perhaps best describe, the fundamental need for the people to act, by John F. Kennedy when he said:
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your county.”