Our Constitution was written and ratified by Protestant Christians (98% Protestant, 2% Catholic, 0% Atheist) to protect us from strong central governments like those under papal and monarchical control in Europe.
The thirteen States, independent nations, created and assigned to the federal government two responsibilities:
- National defense.
- Facilitating trade between the states.
Our Constitution is a list of approximately thirty-five enumerated powers appointed to the federal government.
Half of those powers are tremendously important, but are internal and structural, such as the Separation of Powers.
The external half is contained in Article 1, Section 8 numbering only eleven responsibilities (with all defense powers counted as one), along with two more less consequential duties of weights and measurements and authority over the District of Columbia.
The entire debate surrounding the creation of our federal government was to create something that was able to perform the most critical task of defense in a financially sustainable manner, along with as few powers as necessary in order to leave to the states all the concerns of their respective citizens.
To this end the Constitution was written, and the 10th Amendment was used to place a lock on the cell in which we bound our federal government.
There are individuals, organizations, and political parties that are determined to not be constrained by the Constitution. They call the Constitution a growing and outdated document, or they treat it as such. They are the very people from which we wrote the Constitution to protect ourselves.
“That the several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by compact, under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party; that this government, created by this compact, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”
– Thomas Jefferson: The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798