Letters of Liberty
                                                   Why Do We Need Both Divides?  

                Most modern governments have only a horizontal divide which provides much of the decision authority at the top.  Some people enjoy this arrangement as the government makes many of the people’s major decisions thus taking that burden from the average person.  However, in relieving the people of the responsibility of making choices by having a controlling central government, there is an inherent danger of an over controlling government that slowly seizes more power over time until it begins to be intrusive on its people.

                Governments and their respective politicians lust for more and more power; this leads to the people continually being oppressed.  This is why your Founding Fathers decided on a government system that restricts both divides to protect the citizens of this union.  But, what would happen if we only had a vertical or horizontal divide?

                Let us say the federal government no longer existed and we only had a government system that ranged from the individual to the state level.  This would be the most efficient way of taking care of the people’s welfare because of the local constraints of the border.  Since the voters live in a close proximity to the capital of, for example, Pennsylvania, they could voice the objections to taxes or lack of needed services to the state capital or their local state representatives.  They would be much better stewards of your money as the residents of this state could actually see how their tax dollars are being spent in many cases along with the state government being much smaller than the federal government.  With all these apparent benefits, could not a state exist comfortable governing itself?

                Once outside the borders of the state, we find that each state is only a part of this union.  Who would protect the citizens of this state if we were unfortunately attacked by a foreign country?  At the time of the Constitutional convention, the British forces had temporarily moved into Canada and the Spanish were at our southern border.  If the British were to have decided to invade us affecting some northern states first, how long could the states support their state militia?  What if they could not muster enough troops to repel an attack?  What other neighboring state would volunteer their militias and money to aid those in need?  During our revolution we learned some important lessons.  Some states aided the revolutionary war with both troops and financial aid to the government; however, most did not and preferred to stay neutral even though they morally supported the revolt.

                Each state had their own currency which, when used in trade with other states, caused an inflationary effect due to currency exchanged between states.  There was also a problem with trade between states and foreign nations.  Some states had treaties with countries disenfranchising other states from promoting their trade abroad.  Also, there was a problem with no central judicial overview.  Who would resolve issues between the states?  How would commerce be regulated to promote trade between states and foreign countries?  Would it not be prudent to have one currency for use throughout all the states?

                It is appears that while there are benefits to governing with just the vertical divide, there are also serious disadvantages due to the restrictions it possesses.  So, it was prudent we also have a central government to take care of our national needs.

                What if we only had a horizontal divide or a strong central government?  We would be protected from foreign invasion, perhaps have a national currency, supreme judicial system and a regulated commerce.  With all these apparent benefits the question is simple.  Why do we need a vertical divide?  The Founders knew that history not only could reveal weakness in past government systems, but also repeated itself over time.  They had read how successfully functioning republics quickly changed when a central government became too powerful and corrupt.  The federal government would evolve into a “top down” government system.  They would ultimately become your masters and you there mere servants.

                For our union to survive, we need both vertical and horizontal divides.  We need the horizontal divide for a strong but limited federal government, whose primary function is to protect us from foreign invasion and a vertical divide to handle the people’s welfare in their respective states and local governments.  To continue this successful relationship it will be necessary for the citizens to continually elect people who are dedicated to protecting individual liberties and freedoms by adhering to the original intent of our Constitution.  This provides for both federal and state rights to work in harmony for the people.

                Let us now focus on some past legislation and you decide if the Framers of our Constitution would have been pleased with their efforts.