The Lincoln Journal Star carried an article about the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee hearing that was held on Friday entitled “Bill Would Give Voice to States’ Rights”.
This article requires parsing and needs to be commented on by those who support the Constitution and a return to a truly Federalist Republic.
Before presenting an analysis of the article, I want to be sure to urge everyone to go to the Lincoln Journal Star’s online version of this article and leave a comment. As is always the case, the radical left has “staked out the joint” and descended upon the article there, spewing their usual nonsense. As part of our effort to educate and win one battle in the war of ideas, I think we need to vow from now on to make comment on these issues on the Lincoln Journal Star’s website.
Click HERE to go to Sovereignty article.
So, let the analysis begin with the title of the article and the subject of “states’ rights”.
States do not have rights, citizens do. States have powers.
The bias of The Lincoln Journal Star – its bent (not lean) to the left is laid bare – right out of the gate. Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Bill Avery used the phrase “states’ rights” repeatedly during the hearing for L.R. 292, along with every other leftist argument used in opposition to adhering to Constitutional principles. More on Senator Avery later.
Before dealing with the Committee Chairman further, it’s important to focus on words. Another phrase (or variations of it) used more than once during the hearing: “Words have meaning”. True. Words do have meaning. Using “states rights” instead of “state sovereignty” is as important a distinction as the constantly incorrectly used “democracy” instead of “republic”. After incorrectly used words are repeated often enough, important distinctions are lost and entire generations of Americans think they live in a democracy – the form of government otherwise known as tyranny of the majority.
The State Sovereignty issue has to do with the proper roles of the Federal and State governments in our Republic and questions regarding what powers have been vested in each by the people, through the Constitution. Sovereignty resolutions, such as L.R. 292, are an effort to begin the conversation about how the roles of both the Federal and States have been nearly totally reversed. As noted by the Resolution’s sponsor, Senator Tony Fulton:
“There is always tension between Washington and the states,” he said. “In my opinion the federal government exercises too much authority over our lives as senators and the lives of our constituents.”
The Journal Star framed their article based on the premise of Senator Bill Avery. When arguments are framed on false pretenses, the whole discussion is skewed.
Nebraskans should be very concerned about a public servant who clearly has no real understanding of the proper meaning for basic words and phrases that define our form of government. Nebraskans should be alarmed that this same public servant was once a professor at the largest institution of higher learning in the state. Apparently he spent his career filling the heads of young people who took his classes with the same wrong-headed notions he laid bare in Friday’s Committee hearing through his questions.
Avery’s questions made clear that states don’t have “rights” anymore. For him, the “question” was settled at the time of the Civil War. He referred to the United States as a “nation state” and asked testifiers about possible actions to follow L.R. 292, referencing succession, Civil War, and slavery. He further noted that “federalism” won out in the debate about “states rights”.
Senator Avery doesn’t understand what federalism is. Our federalist republic, as originally intended at the writing of the Constitution, was designed to prevent power from being consolidated into one central governmental entity. The Framers’ study of history had taught them that the only sustainable republics were those that were small. Anticipating America’s growth into a large nation, power was balanced and divided. Balanced by the separation of powers – divided so as to encourage local control. Federal government was to have a brief list of powers – enumerated in Article I, Section 8. To prevent that power consolidation, those powers not enumerated were reserved to the States and to the people.
Bill Avery is an intelligent man, but a mind is a terrible thing to waste. If that mind were not involved in affecting public policy and therefore Nebraskans’ liberties, the misdirection of his intelligence would be no business of mine or anyone else’s. But since he is a Nebraska legislator, it is a problem that should concern us all.
Senator Avery seems quite confident in his position regarding sovereignty. The Journal Star article ends with a quote from him:
“What makes us strong is not having dual sovereignty.”
A question for Senator Avery: “If we no longer have dual sovereignty, why do we need you, Senator?”
Nebraska does not need a Senator who doesn’t see the necessity of the governmental body in which he serves. If Nebraska were not sovereign, we wouldn’t even need a legislative body.
Our legislature needs representatives in it who understand the proper role of government and know what duties they are elected to perform. One of Senator Avery’s jobs is to stand watch over the encroachment of the Federal government within Nebraska, to guard against it’s encroachment on my liberties and yours.
Senator Avery is up for re-election this year. He represents District 28. The filing deadline for candidates is March 1. We need to find out of there is anyone planning on running against him in the next few days, and if not, find a candidate committed to the Constitution and get them to file.
We have much work to do here in Nebraska to restore the proper division between Federal and State government and we need Senators in the Unicameral who are willing to do that work.
The Lincoln Journal Star, as the second largest newspaper in the state, situated in the State’s Capital, should return to reporting news, not taking positions. Apparently the reporter didn’t talk to or choose to use any quotes from any of the 150 citizens who showed up at the hearing or to quote from any of their testimony. The only quotes included in the article, outside of those from testimony, were from Bill Avery.
And that brings us full circle. In our efforts to educate and advocate, we need to comment upon articles in the Journal Star consistently, as many of us as possible. We need to call them on their biases and we need to respond to the comments made by the loud and active opponents of Constitutionalism. Please take a moment to visit their site and if you have the time, write a letter to the Editor.