The subject on every American's mind is the intense division which has swept our country in recent years. Often times, this thought is often followed by a question which most people don't seem to have an answer for; how can we live more harmoniously while standing firmly by our beliefs? Political beliefs which cannot be practiced harmoniously/ simultaneously through federal government? The answer to this question once, in many aspects, thrived in our country. One particular amendment of our constitution; one which has been continuously bastardized throughout our nation's history, was included for just this purpose. This amendment was designed to ensure that all citizens would have the ability to live within a governmental system which best represented their beliefs. Like many aspects of our lives, the best way to coexist is to stay out of each other's way. Every day, our swelling, polarized federal government makes this more and more difficult. The remedy to our nation's aggressive discord lies within our bill of rights; the 10th amendment.
What value would our way of life have if American politics were dictated by a majority vote of the Earth's population? Clearly, our personal interests are best represented by a much smaller geographical boundary. This boundary encapsulates Americans and far more accurately represents American interests alongside America's sense of freedom and morality. Islamic law, for example, best represents the culture and perspectives of Saudi Arabians. Americans, on the other hand, prefer a system in which alcohol is legal and women aren't forced to cover themselves in full body burkas. While there is not an active political movement to enforce burka's within the United States, our beliefs still conflict quite radically. Our geographical representation can be represented even more locally, and therefore accurately. This representation is known as "state's rights."
Let Californians be Californians, and Texans be Texans.
What is generally true throughout our country is that the people who live within a state are best represented by their state government. New Yorkers are not represented accurately by Texans, and Alaskans are not accurately represented by the beliefs of Virginians. We have a right, (the reason the 10th amendment is included in the bill of rights), to be primarily represented by our fellow statesmen; individuals which are most likely to share our way of life. Virginia politics should influence the day to day lives of Virginians far more than the federal government. Unfortunately, we are all far more concerned with national politics than state politics, and for good reason. Federal politics have begun to have far more bearing over our lives, and clearly, according to the 10th amendment, this is not supposed to be the case.
Under the 10th amendment, you should have 50 largely sovereign governmental systems to choose from
What enhances the beauty of the 10th amendment is our nation's freedom of movement. Even though your state most likely represents your beliefs, you have the freedom to move if it does not or another state may do so better. Does the highly liberal system of California best represent you? Fantastic, you are free to become a Californian. Tired of New York politics? There are 49 more options to explore. The error in our current system is that the federal government has ignored the 10th amendment for a very long time. An expanding conservative government enforces its politics upon the liberal northeast, California, Oregon, etc. An expanding liberal government limits the ability of Texas, Utah, Arkansas, etc. to most accurately represent their own interests. We have been forced into an "us vs them" two-party system in which either your party protects you but tramples their rights or their party protects them and tramples your rights.
One might argue that we need an overarching federal government to encourage cooperation, but is a nation in which one side is constantly infringing upon the other's rights really cooperation at all? Understanding the 10th amendment means understanding the constitutional key to our nation's divide; live and let live.
From extreme over-interpretation of the interstate commerce act, to flat out congressional action which has not been explicitly permitted by the constitution, our constitutionally expressed right to the 10th amendment died long ago. Only by holding our elected officials responsible can we ensure that we can most fully express our desired way of life, harmoniously, through ensuring the power of state's rights.