When the very brilliant and prescient framers of the Constitution wrote the document which was the first of its kind in the world and which has withstood the test of time and political tidal action to form the bedrock of the American way of life, they created a balance of powers as between the Federal entity America was, on the one hand, and the states, each an entity unto itself, on the other.
They did things that way for a reason. The Federal government was given certain powers – to make war, to enact treaties, to regulate commerce between the states, to protect the guarantees of the bill of rights, and to do other things that nations must do to function as a nation and to relate to other nations – and reserved all other powers to the states. Neither party was to tread into – or upon – the rights of the other. As impermissible as it would be for the Federal Congress to pass a law in New Jersey changing the state bird would be an attempt by New Jersey, for example, to pass a Federal law affecting the rights of citizens in North Dakota.
But alas for the politics of today, which are bitter, personal, and deeply emotional, rather than rational. The modern ‘conservative’ distorts and tortures the meaning of the word from respect for time-tested institutions to disdain for such institutions. They embrace, today, a frantic and contemptuous drive to destroy by alteration that which offends them. Those who support this agenda are catered to as spoiled, screaming children who demand an America which fits their discomfort and fears; those who talk to them, and who talk for them, are smart enough to manipulate this. Think Tea Party. All this means that, since they’re numerically inferior to more rational American constituencies and always will be, that they’re not going to win fair and square in their fight to control how everyone else lives.
So there is a movement afoot, sponsored by the extreme right and by the Republican Speaker of the House, to create a ‘nullification’ amendment which would allow two-thirds of the states to repeal federal legislation with which they do not agree.
This unprecedented and nothing short of an outright urination on the Constitution. It entirely obliterates it and renders it so much soiled tissue paper. The Federal system, which has erected a proper balance between Federal and State prerogatives, will now be erased by a tyranny of the minority, one which fears progress and change, which will, without hesitation, use this horrid, neutered new Constitution to reverse everything scientific, progressive and right. In so doing, the 30% of the population living in 66% of the ‘red’ states will dictate terms to the 70% of America which lives in a minority of the states.
Gone will be any hope of a woman’s right to choose being the province of law. It will instantly become the province of statute. Gone will be equal rights for many minorities, fair and rational immigration policies, funding for important medical and scientific research, environmental regulations, laws which keep religious bias out of public institutions, consumer protection measures. This country will become incapable of accomplishing anything the neo-conservative minority doesn’t want done.
This horrid initiative is the result of extreme polarization of politics. It is the result of everyone moving physically, electronically and politically to places where they don’t have to deal with anyone else’s opinion and where they get all of their news from self-reinforcing ‘echo chambers’ such as the talking heads, political pundits and skewed news services that say things that people want fed to them like so much soft food they don’t have to chew.
This is the price we’ve paid for going from three news networks to three hundred. It’s the price we’ve paid for getting our news in small sound bites and for allowing networks like Fox to even exist. It’s the price we’ve paid for putting hands over our ears and singing ‘la la la la’ when we don’t like what the other person has to say. It’s what we get for being afraid of change, afraid of cultural, political, scientific and other types of evolution, and it’s going to doom this country.
If this ‘nullification’ amendment is passed to change our Federal Constitution to remove powers from the Federal government and give them to the states, we’re going to stop being a powerful, international superpower which is formed as a ‘republic,’ and we’re going to become a second rate world power along the lines of a ‘confederacy.” Eventually, we’ll go the way of Yugoslavia and the way of the gooney, as the extreme red states persist in their cultural, political and religious isolation.
One day, perhaps much sooner than the right wing would like if they pursue this kind of nonsense, America is going to cease to exist.
This is a political and national disease, nothing less. If this nullification amendment is passed, it is going to destroy this country faster than any other force could possibly do, and we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame.