James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Creating a New Status Quo

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:
Before Truman, Presidents wouldn't start major military conflicts without a Congressional declaration of war; after Truman, the formal declaration is considered an "anachronism," in our "dangerous times," (even though air travel permits Congress to convene within 24 hours of a national emergency). Before the creation and expansion of federal police agencies like the FBI, it was thought that states had the responsibility to punish almost all crimes - that is why the Constitution was amended to institute Prohibition. Today, there are thousands of federal criminal laws, and a War on Drugs that is not authorized by the Constitution. But if you state your opposition to the War on Drugs on Constitutional grounds, you will still be dismissed as a pothead.

There are many other such instances where the government asserted bold, new, unconstitutional powers, and in a few short years the nation adjusted to the new status quo and wrote off critics as extremists. But there's something a little strange about the "reasonable" positions of the "mainstream." Somehow, the moderate position always favors more power for the federal government. It leads to the most immoderate results.
Also, I wrote the most recent Downsizer-Dispatch, found here.