Novus Ordo Seclorum



By David Beilstein

GREAT minds think alike. Betsy Woodruff wrote this article for National Review, highlighting the need for the Republican Party to get behind all this 10th Amendment business. I agree. You can check out Ms Woodruff’s piece here.

Ms Woodruff sounds off,

Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.

I used some of the same language as Ms Woodruff in an earlier blog. If the GOP wants to erect a solid reputation of supporting comprehensive limited government where the duties of the Federal Government are constitutionally limited, they need to follow that out to its logical conclusion. What that is going to mean, then, is, a greater ability for individual states to become laboratories of republican democracy.

It’s always nice to see a lady dance well. Ms Woodruff continues,

For the GOP, this is more than just an opening; it’s a magical messaging moment, which, to paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, conservatives shouldn’t let go to waste. “This is a classic example of where they can walk the walk,” says Tim Lynch of the Cato Institute. This isn’t really a drug-legalization issue; it’s a states’ rights issue and a limited-powers issue. All conservatives have to agree on is that the federal government might have better things to do with its freshly printed money than try to enforce a nigh-unenforceable law that local voters and leaders think was a bad idea in the first place.

To make sure she has the ears, she quotes from our great Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas,

That’s how Clarence Thomas sees it, too. In his dissenting opinion in Gonzales v. Raich — a case that decided that California couldn’t allow home-grown medical marijuana — Thomas wrote that “local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not ‘Commerce . . . among the several States.’” And, therefore, it’s not in the purview of the Feds. “Our federalist system,” he continued, “properly understood, allows California and a growing number of other States to decide for themselves how to safeguard the health and welfare of their citizens.”

Likewise, Federalism adds greater weight to the separation of powers pertinent in protecting individual and state sovereignty. It means individual states can do some stupid stuff but the entire country doesn’t have to face the reaper. There was a time this was common-sense conservatism. But confused men like the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and the rest of the religious right cabal somehow convinced “conservative voters” that conservatism was about baptising the kind of morality normal to southern baptist churches into the public square – rather than a philosophy of classical liberal governance. They also convinced many evangelicals that the U.S. Constitution was St Paul’s missing 15th Epistle, thus Christian America was birthed. Yes, painful. And it’s not a good idea – especially since as a Christian, I could not handle the rigours of Liberty University’s intransigent book of conduct

If I had issues, what about non-Christians?

Fear drives people’s reactions. The plummet of the culture and the heat and friction of the Culture Wars drove many good-hearted Christian saints and other American voters into political affiliations they might reconsider on a second look. Let us pray this transpires, because It’s time for that second look now.

We are still recovering from the morass of a conservatism ripped from its political and intellectual moorings. And it will take some time, as classical liberals swim against more than 30 years of shabby articulation of what conservatism is, and more importantly, what it is not.


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