Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 3:18pm

The theory of States’ Rights

Posted by Dwhite

The way the Union was originally set up, States were far more important to the citizen than was the federal government. The individual states were responsible for the welfare of their citizens, and the federal government was responsible for the welfare of the states.

In basic terms, the individual would elect state officials, such as the state senators, state representatives, and the governor. These officials would be responsible for creating laws for the states, as well as for ensuring that the civil systems worked properly.

The citizens would elect officials that would run the state and enact laws that the individual states preferred – for example, laws about guns, property rights, commerce, etc. The laws from one state would not necessarily be found in another state, so if you didn’t like the laws in your state, you could move to a state with like-minded citizens with laws that you preferred. It is much easier for a citizen to have an impact at a local level than at a federal level.

The federal government was created to be a way for the individual states to interact and pool resources on a global level. The federal government was created with LIMITED powers that are enumerated in the constitution. The federal government was always intended to be responsible to the states – and the state officials. Originally, the members of the United States Congress were selected by each state’s officials, decided ultimately upon by each state (if one state wanted the citizens to elect the officials, that was their rule. If another wanted the state legislature to select the congressmen, that was it’s rule – and the rules were almost always decided on by the citizens).

The point of this post is to instruct on the importance of local and state elections. Far too often in today’s political spectrum, the citizens almost always vote for officials that are running for office at the federal level, when it is the local level that most affects our daily lives with local laws and ordinances. It is the local governments that decide how much power to give to home owner’s associations, not the federal government. It is the local government that establishes gun laws and speed limits and driving ages, not the federal government. Do you think it would be helpful for someone in an agricultural state to be able to drive a motor vehicle at 14, instead of 16 or 18? Do you think that individual could be restricted to drive only in rural areas, such as a farm? That’s the power of local government.

© 2010 States' Rights: The importance of States' Rights