How to Take Back Your
Regaining Limited Federal
By Holding Local Politicians
John R. McAlister
Would you like to see a limited federal
government bound by the chains of the Constitution? Would you like to see
politicians upholding their oath to the Constitution? It is possible to see
these two principles of good government instituted. It all starts at the local
level by confronting the politicians who live in your neighborhood. This essay
points the way but it is up to “We the People”, i.e., you to make it happen.
Holding local politicians accountable to their oath to the Constitution
all know that Congress and the President consistently violate their oath to
"uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States." But did you know
that every local politician, mayor, city or village council representative,
township trustee, county commissioner, etc., also takes an oath to uphold the
Constitution of the United States and the constitution of their state?
a City Councilman in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna, OH, (http://gahanna.gov) I
decided that I would uphold that oath by voting NO on certain city ordinances
funded by unconstitutional federal money. Before a city can spend money Council
has to vote on a city ordinance authorizing the expenditure. In order to
uphold my oath I have had to vote NO on buying three police cruisers with "drug
money" taken in a drug raid. Why? Because the "war on drugs" is a totally
had to vote NO on a "safe sidewalks to schools" grant. Why? Because there is
no authority in the Constitution’s Article I, sec 8, the enumerated powers of
Congress, which grants the federal government the right to give
money to cities. All one has to do is look each month at how many money spending
ordinances are being voted on by local politicians and see which
ordinances violate Article I, section 8.
Why are these local politicians violating their oath? It’s because the average
citizen is not calling them on it. What if two, then ten, then 20, then 40,
etc, people started showing up at their local government meetings and started
monitoring the unconstitutional votes of their local politicians? What if
these citizens started voicing their opposition to these votes during the
council's "hearing of visitors" part of the meeting? What if these people
started becoming as outraged over their local politicians dishonoring their oath
to the constitution as NIMBY's become outraged over a zoning issue?
If "we the people" are ever going to have a Constitution that has any teeth in
it, then "we the people" will have to give it meaning by acting at the local
level and confronting local politicians who violate their oath. When the next
local election comes up, the Constitution can be made the issue by making it
known how many times an incumbent violated his or her oath.
simple action plan
Just ask your neighbor if he or she thinks it's right for their local politician
to violate their oath to the Constitution. If your neighbor says, “No it's not
right”, you've got a chance to make a convert out of him or her and explain the
original meaning of Article I, section 8. So now you've got two people
monitoring the local votes. Two can become four in the same manner and four can
become eight, etc.
Wouldn't it be nice if during "hearing of visitors" people came to their local
government meetings and started publicly asking their local politicians if they
were going to violate their oath by voting for an unconstitutional ordinance?
This is a movement that requires no national organization or money-raising. It
is a movement that could "go viral" with emails, youtubes, blogs, etc. Every
American respects the U.S. Constitution, but most have not read Article I,
section 8 and do not realize that it is the part of the Constitution which
places limited powers on Congress.
Known as the “enumerated powers” of Congress, this part of the Constitution is
the “rule book” which Congress is supposed to live by. There are only about 25
powers granted by the Constitution to the Federal Congress. This section of the
Constitution limits the power of Congress. The Declaration of Independence says
people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and “that
to secure these rights, governments are instituted.” It’s important for everyone
to read Article I, section 8 because when Congress violates this part of the
Constitution they violate our freedom rather than securing it.
must all take a stance like one of Davy Crockett's constituents who confronted
Crockett for voting federal monies for charity to help people burned out of
their homes. When Crockett sought re-election the constituent called Crockett on
the carpet for violating the Constitution by saying, “The people have delegated
to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these,
it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything
beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."
When scores, then thousands then tens of thousands, then one million people
start confronting their local politicians in the same manner that Crockett was
confronted, the U.S. Constitution will once again take its place as a means to
limit the Federal Government and keep it within the bounds of constitutional
How does one monitor the votes of their local politicians?
Every political body has an agenda that is printed up ahead of the political
body’s meeting. The agenda is a public document. Most cities discuss the
upcoming ordinances every other week in committee meetings. These meetings are
also open to the public. It is decided during these committee meetings if the
spending requests by the administration are put on the “Consent Agenda” or
whether the ordinance is put on the “Regular Agenda” to be voted on as a
Many times the ordinances, which are being funded by federal money, are put on
the Consent Agenda. There’s no discussion and these ordinances are voted on as a
routine item like buying rock salt. Thus, the council members have violated
their oath to uphold the Constitution because Article I, section 8 does not
authorize Congress to give money to local governments.
Congress members come from?
you check the background of your local member of the U.S. House of
Representatives or the U.S. Senate you will find that most of these people
started out in politics as a city council representative, county commissioner,
etc. Many went on to their state legislatures. What if we were only sending
people to higher office who had proved their worthiness of upholding the
Constitution at the local level? Might we then start to get state legislatures
and a U.S. Congress made up of people who honor freedom and the founding
principles of limited government and a government that secures our rights rather
than tramples on them?
The Constitution is about protecting freedom by limiting the power of a central
federal government. Do you love freedom? Every time the federal government takes
money from you through taxation and distributes it to others or spends it in a
way it sees fit, you loose more of your freedom.
Tocqueville said, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress
discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” These bribes
come right down to the local level in the form of “federal spending programs.”
It’s time to stop taking the bribes and start holding local politicians
accountable to the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution of the United
Copyright 2009, John
R. McAlister. Permission granted to reprint, reproduce or plagiarize.