The States Must Rise Again: The Only Way to Combat Obama’s Socialist Agenda

-By Selwyn Duke

With the passage of ObamaCare coming on the heels of government takeover of industries and taxpayer-funded bailouts of the irresponsible, many are wondering how we can turn the socialist tide. They see Uncle Sam expanding, their rights and economic prospects shrinking and their voices ignored. For these people, November cannot come soon enough.

But November is not the ultimate solution. In the political universe, seven months is an eternity, and we cannot know precisely how public sentiment will evolve. Besides, the chances of Republicans retaking both Houses are slim and, even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll rise to the occasion. Some will be Scott Brown types — not the sort to give us tradition we can believe in.

A better solution lies on the local and state levels. Fifteen states are currently suing the federal government over ObamaCare, and then there is the Tenth Amendment Movement, involving at least 35 states that are asserting their sovereignty over powers granted them by that amendment. These are good starts, but…

Question: What if the Supreme Court, in obvious violation of the Constitution, upholds ObamaCare? Do we simply obey unflinchingly and wait for the next federal usurpation?

Certainly, there is every reason to believe the Black Robes will thus rule, as enabling the Leviathan’s tyranny has become their practice. Of course, many legal “scholars” will provide oh-so intellectual justifications for the incessant expansion of federal power as they lawyer away our rights. But let’s look at what James Madison, considered the father of the Constitution, wrote in The Federalist, No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce …

When was the last time we had a government reflecting these limits? The truth is that Uncle Sam violates the Constitution ever more brazenly with the passage of time, adding to its power and subtracting from our rights. And it won’t stop unless someone stops it.

And it is time we stopped it. The states should send a message: Black Robes, if you won’t do your job, we will do it for you. No state resident shall be compelled to buy health insurance, and we will not cooperate in the enforcement of such a mandate. Furthermore, no federal agents may enter our territories for the purposes of such enforcement. And if they do, they will be arrested.

On top of this immediate concern, states should resolve that the same will apply to all other unconstitutional mandates — regardless of how established and longstanding they may be.


Now, many people — good people — will object to this prescription. “How can you defy the courts?” they will ask. “We must respect the rule of law.” But what is the law? The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. And when a government violates it, it loses its legitimacy, right to exist and legal authority.

Will we just accept an oligarchic judiciary and abide by its dictates no matter how onerous? Will we accept social engineers-cum-lawyers’ “interpretations” of plain language regardless of how contrary to the text they may be? What will we believe, them or our own eyes? If the former, we are not governed by the rule of law. We are governed by the rule of lawyers.

And let us understand fully the moral and legal validity of my counsel. The Constitution is the contract the American people have with one another, and enumerated in it are the rights and responsibilities of all those party to it. But it has one serious flaw.

It only works if you actually abide by it.

Now, what if one of the parties, being more powerful, continually violates the contract for the purposes of advantaging itself? Do you seek redress through the courts? Sure. What if, however, this party has the power to appoint judges sympathetic to its tyrannical aims? What if these judges, with a wink and a nod and legalistic mumbo-jumbo, aid and abet the party in its breach of contract? Do you just say, “Oh, well, that’s what the contract means now because they said so”? Or do you recognize a simple fact?

To wit: Through its habitual violation of the terms of the contract, the federal government has rendered it null and void.

Null and void. It is silly to think that states have an obligation to follow the law when the Leviathan violates it at will. It is to fight abiding by Queensberry rules while your opponent makes up his own rules. That is, if you can even characterize it as fighting and not genuflection.

I know my prescription is bold enough to scare many into believing all the more in November, but be under no illusions. The idea that we’re going to put the Leviathan in its proper place at the national ballot box is a pipe dream. The problem of extra-constitutional federal governance is not a new phenomenon; it is approximately 100 years old and so deeply ingrained that the central government views many violations of the Constitution as federal rights. Besides, the Founding Fathers gave us a balance of power between Washington and the states for a reason: Governments don’t willingly relinquish or limit their own power. Thus, it is naïve to think that “asking” the Leviathan to recede into its cage will bring anything but contemptuous laughter. For how long will we say “pretty please”? For how long will we play by the rules while the Leviathan plays with the rules? It’s time to stop asking and start telling.

Moreover, those of us who care about resurrecting tradition are in the minority. The 11 most populous states boast more than half our population and enough electoral votes to elect the president, and they are a decidedly liberal bunch. Obama won nine of them — most by wide margins — losing only Texas and Georgia. Four of them, California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey — which alone have a quarter of the U.S.’ population — are firmly entrenched in the statist camp; three of them, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, have one foot in that grave; and two of them, Florida and North Carolina, are teetering on the edge. And all of them, along with the rest of the West, are trending left.

It is time for the few remaining pockets of traditionalism to take control of their culture and destiny. If not now, when? Will the resurrection of manly virtue ever wait for the next usurpation? Will we wait until the Black Robes find a justification for hate-speech laws? Do we sit idly by while cultural traitors manufacture socialist votes by granting amnesty to 13-20 million illegals, people with no allegiance to our nation? Will we just watch them build a statist electoral phalanx that will support the redistribution of wealth and further constitutional trespass? I say no. States should send a message to the Leviathan: If you don’t do your job, we’ll do it for you. They should make clear that they will not recognize the citizenship of any individual who broke into our nation and was then given a get-out-of-jail-free-if-you-vote-for-me card.


What’s that you say? Immigration is a federal role?

Null and void.

And if asked about the constitutionality of the matter, I would just quote a very powerful woman second in line to the presidency: “Are you serious?! Are you serious?!

Yes, I am serious. It’s time to stop acting like an abused wife who’d rather take beating after beating after beating than leave the tyrant.

The sun will not come out in November. It rises with the vigilant, shines on the stout-hearted, and sets only when a nation’s courage sleeps.
Selwyn Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show and has been a regular guest on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His work has appeared in Pat Buchanan’s magazine The American Conservative and he writes regularly for The New American and Christian Music Perspective. He can be contacted at

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001