Gentlemen May Cry… The Ideology of Anti-Federalism

Having recently witnessed a devastating typhoon hit the Philippine Islands, I’ve wondered how much better off they would be right now if they were still part of the “More Perfect Union.” While the United States sent plenty of aid their way, private individuals and other countries did as well. However, receiving this aid did not require the Philippines to give up their Sovereignty, Freedom, or Independence. Throughout the early 20th century, the people of the Philippines were forced to fight a hot war for freedom, having been occupied by the United States since the Spanish-American War. In 1946, the United States relented, and gave the Filipino people their freedom. Likewise, other U.S. holdings in the Pacific (including the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands,) were given what is known as “Free Association Status.” To this end, the United States still provide military defense for these island nations, and allow trade and tourism with them. However, each is considered a free Nation, and reserves the right in its Constitution to alter its arrangement with the USA, and even provide for its own defense at any time in the future.

Like the European Powers, the United States have allowed some of their territories to regain Independence. It is sad, however, that in these times when the government can so easily be controlled by a mere plurality of interests, and where all the different so-called “checks and balances” provided by the Constitution fail to prevent something as blatantly destructive to American liberty as Obamacare from becoming law, there still is no escape route for those of us living on the mainland. To borrow a phrase from a Cuban refugee who was speaking to Ronald Reagan, If we lose freedom here, there’s
no place to escape to—this is the last stand on Earth.”

In these times, it is interesting to note that this goes back fully 226 years—to the day the republic died. The Anti-Federalists were the true Federalists, and they were also the true “small-r” republicans. They were never officially a party, but all the parties that came after them used labels that failed to describe what their true purpose was. The Federalists didn’t actually want federalism—they wanted an energetic and wealthy Empire with an Army and Navy sprawled all over the globe, like Britain in that day. The Democrats of old wanted a planter’s Aristocracy, and today they embody an Aristocracy of Hollywood & Ivy League Elites—the urban wing of the Hamiltonian dialectic. The Republicans originally inherited the dreams of consolidated empire and a National Bank that the Federalists (and later the Whigs) bequeathed to them.

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Today, they merely form the more rural and jingoistic wing of the Hamiltonian dialectic. Both major parties love war and global dominance. Both have been infiltrated by the Progressive, or Populist movements, which seek to control and even perfect human behavior by taxation and government policies; rejecting God as the source of our rights and the reason for our freedoms.

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Libertarians, thinking themselves superior, also sacrifice morality for objective value and the pursuit of license to use illicit substances, engage in gambling, and a host of other vices that may not be harmful everyone they touch, but in the aggregate destroy many lives. They claim to support smaller government, but will gladly allow you to tax their behavior, so long as they can keep their vices.

Anti-Federalists form a different political ethos. They were almost universally reverent of God Almighty and knew our rights come from him. They believed in smaller, separate republics, where strength in government was closest to the People. Anti-Federalists almost universally opposed slavery, and against all provisions for slavery being forced upon all the States, as was done by the 1787 Constitution. They insisted on a Bill of Rights, not only for the federal Constitution, but also for their State Constitutions. Most importantly of all, they understood the nature of law, and the critical principle of construction: that words have meaning, and a law cannot mean what it does not say.

Deriving from this is the central rule still evident in the 10th Amendment—that all powers not delegated are reserved. To “delegate” is to give power from a higher authority to another which would not otherwise have that power. Who is delegating? The People, as they are the ones with the Power in the first place. Who is receiving the delegated power? The government in question. Powers delegated to States cannot be rightfully usurped by the National government, nor can those not delegated to the National government be assumed without further delegation by the People.

We could ask, “Where in the Constitution is there a provision for an Air Force, a CIA, a DHS, a Health & Human Services Department, or a Department of Education?” Clearly, there is none. As such, they should be done away with, or at the very least, made legal by amending the Constitution.

There is also no provision for a case like Lawrence v. Texas, or Roe v. Wade—between in-state persons and their state governments—being appealed to the Federal Courts. Likewise, California’s Constitutional Amendment (Proposition 8,) was a successful effort by the People of the State to exert their sovereignty over the State government that was out-of-control.

Furthermore, the dangers of nullification and interposition were revealed when the Governor, Attorney General, and other elected officials refused to uphold the People’s Amendment, falsely declaring them unconstitutional, and when for the same reason, the President of the United States refused to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Although the Supreme Court ruled that the National government had no authority to rule on Proposition 8, and no power to define marriage for the States, through usurpation, the will of the People of California was still rendered null and void, and other judges in States like New Jersey have followed the Supreme Court’s despicable lead, interpreting their disastrous ruling to mean that the federal government re-defined marriage in every state.

“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush; therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there…” It is time for the American People—the People of Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and all the other States to rediscover the ideals of Anti-Federalism. These founders and framers ensured we’d have a Bill of Rights, but they also ensured that we would know by what Authority we were due our liberties. Our teachers should have told us about them, because if they did, by now (like the Philippines, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands,) we might already be free.

This is Part 3 in a series. Read part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.

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