Ted Cruz: 10th Amendment needed because men aren’t angels

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Just 90 seconds of closing statements by Ted Cruz at the recent TPPF debate so that you can get a feel for this rising star of Texas politics. His op-ed on the subject follows with more of his thoughts.

SibylDisobedience | January 16, 2011
Ted Cruz, Former Texas Solicitor General and Senior Fellow at the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies debates Scott McCown at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 9th Annual Orientation January 13, 2011, Austin Texas.

Op-Ed: 10th Amendment needed because men aren’t angels


This past year, the federal government has marched further and faster than ever toward control of the economy and our everyday lives. This would dismay our Founding Fathers, whose vision of a carefully limited federal government animated the Constitution.

The most explicit statement of limited government in the U.S. Constitution is the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Thus, any power that the Constitution does not affirmatively give the federal government, it does not have.

The 10th Amendment embodied a revolutionary concept. Written just a few years after we had won our independence from Britain, the Constitution fundamentally changed the relationship between people and government.

For millennia, the source of power and authority had always been kings and government, and rights were seen as gifts by grace from the monarch. The Constitution inverted that understanding, with sovereignty beginning in the American people — beginning with We the People — and power given to government only to a limited degree.

Indeed, that was the genius of the Constitution — limiting government to protect the liberty of the people. Because the Framers recognized that unchecked government can strip the people of their freedoms, they designed a constitution to prevent that from happening.

As James Madison, the Constitution’s primary author, explained:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”



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One thought on “Ted Cruz: 10th Amendment needed because men aren’t angels

  1. Pingback: The GOP “War on Women” warriors « Later On

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