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Radical Right Joins in Secession Frenzy

By Mark Potok on November 14, 2012 - 2:09 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Propaganda, White Nationalism

Hundreds of thousands of disgruntled conservatives, still smarting from the re-election of President Obama last week, are signing petitions to allow more than 30 states to secede from the United States — and they are being joined by a motley collection of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers.

As of midday today, eight of the petitions, which are being posted on a government website set up to encourage citizen participation, have crossed the threshold of 25,000 signatures required to prompt a guaranteed official reply from the White House. (The states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, the state with the most signers.) But the petitions carry no legal weight at all, and almost no one anywhere on the political spectrum expects them to result in anything more than a collective blowing off of right-wing steam.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the denizens of Stormfront, a huge white nationalist Web forum run by a former Alabama Klan leader, from enthusiastically embracing the cause. Starting last Saturday, a large number of comment threads began appearing on the site that encouraged the radical right to join in on the fun.

Of course, the discourse on the forum has that special Stormfront kind of feel — which is to say, the underlying concern of most participants there is how to create a country, or perhaps countries, that is all, or at least mostly, white.

“We would be better off using all of our strength to secede 80% white states,” wrote “MattwhiteAmerica” in one of more than a dozen threads discussing secession. “A state like Texas, LA, MISS, AL, CA etc are going to need a good old fashion [sic] war to remove the non-whites. …  I’m saying this as most non-whites are socialists and takers. We won’t get a good constitution without a solid white majority.”

“We need to form a WHITE republic,” MattwhiteAmerica added a little later. “One that is for whites by whites!”

Responded “Buffalo”: “I have a feeling a lot if not most of the coloreds would be more than willing to leave a state that actually seceded. I have a feeling they would be smart enough to know that it would be either leave on your own or your [sic] going to be removed by whatever means needed.”

One unexpected dissent came from “Britannic Nationalist,” a foreigner. “Either you’re a country or you’re not,” the poster wrote. “Either all the States should be completely independent, or they should all be a single country. … Will what is now the USA just turn into a land mass of warring factions, states and peoples?”

Most of those posting at Stormfront seemed to realize that they were engaging in a pipe dream. But a few had definite hopes. “Once the cumulative secession petition count exceeds one million then Obama will be very worried,” wrote “Disappointed American.” “One million pissed off armed Americans, coupled with the [antigovernment group] Oathkeepers 3%, can defeat the military. At 2 million signatures, it’s basically a certainty at least one state will secede.”

Well, maybe. Of course, if that’s true, it’s just as likely that some of the other petitions at the government’s We the People website will eventually win their causes, too — causes like “Not Allow The FDA To Regulate Premium Cigars,” “outlaw offending prophets of major religions,” “Restore Fairness And Objectivity To Our Media,” and even “Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas & remain part of the United States.”

And then there were two direct responses to the secession petitions: “Force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union” and “Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them.” Which is just the kind of thing Stormfronters might actually like.

  • http://none Ann T

    It has nothing to do with white vs black… north vs south… it is just obvious that the Federal Government has lost the will and/or the ability to conduct the country’s business in a responsible manner for the common good of its citizens. We have an elite who have behaved unfaithfully to their positions… with abuse of position and an amazing inability to be ashamed for their misconduct. The irresponsible use of authority in the Federal Government is destroying the opportunity for life, liberty and happiness for any of its citizens.

  • Aron

    Jacob, your Firesign Theater reference just warms my heart :)

  • Jacob Witherspoon

    “We’re all bozos on this bus!”

  • Gregory

    It sounds like Brock is hoarding Confederate currency because the “mainstream” refuses to recognize its value.

  • Brock Henderson

    “The Fourteenth Amendment was added legally in accordance with the Constitution . . . ”

    “Furthermore, the reconstruction southern governments who ratified it were legitimate governments . . . ”

    The Southern people who stood right next to armed U.S. Army soldiers – who were of course intervening in the process of a state’s consideration of a U.S. Constitutional amendment – while in the lines to the voting booths, would say otherwise.

    You are on to something in your half-correct assumption about my preferences. I would prefer the Articles over the Constitution. But thank you, yes, in fact, I AM quite loyal to the document ratified and consented to by the people of the United States.

    Not going to ask me for quotes and statements from the men in Philadelphia during that Convention, or from the state ratification documents, like I offered? Again, I don’t enjoy hunting for quotes from 2,000 pages’ worth of Debates on the Constitution, but it seems the situation calls for it. Are you scared that your views will be refuted?

  • Erika

    Brock, while your entire constitutional theory is completely ludicrous my favorite part is your anti-judicial review argument. So basically, you are against that whole checks and balances thing? Why not, you actually oppose the entire Constiution and no doubt wave the Confederate flag of treason. Of all of the things i never thought i’d see, it would be someone who loves the Articles of Confederacy. Seriously, you act as if the Articles of Confederacy are still the law of the land and that the Constitution was nothing but changes to the Articles of Confederacy.

    i have some news for you, sweetie, the Articles of Confederacy are dead and gone. The Fourteenth Amendment was added legally in accordance with the Constitution – the Confederate states admitted defeat and wanted to rejoin the union and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment was one of the conditions that the legitimate governmeny of the United States set – almost all of the former Confederates voluntarily renounced sessession and reaffirmed allegiance to the United States. Furthermore, the reconstruction southern governments who ratified it were legitimate governments and were supported by many former Confederates. Many former Confederates later became public officials in the U.S. pledging an allegiance to the U.S. In fact, under the Constituion, state officials are required to pledge an oath to support the U.S. Constiution.

    Of course, back to your opposition of judicial review which is about the most ludicrous thing i’ve ever heard.

    So if i understand you correctly, if Congres would pass a blatantly unconstitutional law – say that “Brock Henderson is declared guilty of Treason Against the United States and is wanted dead or alive with a $10,000,000 reward – and furthermore, if caught alive will be excecuted by being drawn and quartered” and that it would become law that the court system would not be able to stop it – and in fact, there would be nothing which could be done but to kill you.

    In fact, i have a feeling that if that law was passed, you would be immediately looking to hire someone like me to go into court and say “Your Honor, the Brock Henderson Act is unconstitutional as a Bill of Attainder and violates the Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment” – and you would say “thank you your honor for protecting the Constitution” when he properly held that law to be unconstiutional.

    At least you would unless you are even stupider than i thought – good thing for you that Congress would never ever pass such a law :)

  • Brock Henderson

    Actually it’s all amendments from XIII to the end whose Constitutional legitimacy we fail to see. That name you call us kind of runs afoul of logic, just like most left-wing beliefs, because we Fourteenthers are AGAINST recognition of an amendment that was never freely ratified by a handful of constitutionally federated republics making up one federal constitutional republic, as the Constitution was ratified to create. Wouldn’t that make us ANTI-Fourteenthers, Mr. Credibility?

    The first shot fired doth not a war start. It starts combat, yes, but not a war.

  • Aron

    Oh Brock, so you’re a 14th Amendmenter? That tells me everything I could ever need to know about you.

    Any credibility you once (never) had has just flown out the window.

    (And remember which side started the Civil War: it wasn’t the Federals.)

  • Brock Henderson

    Yes, grandstand all you want by throwing personal invective and potshots at real professors in their fields. People who challenge the authority of a totalitarian imperial government with documented words from the men who originally consented to its creation will always be hated by said totalitarian government’s apologists. As for Beck and Barton, I do not heed the words of idiots, clowns, and charlatans, thank you. Fox News and the Religious Right are pathetic institutions.

    The act of a court – a branch of the government! – in striking down a law made by the legislative branch, is therefore an expansion of the government’s power, Madame Mensa. It’s just one out of three, but the court is part of the government. What law school did you go to? Good God. However you slice it concerning the question of the expansion or limitation of the government’s power, Marbury vs. Madison was the beginning of the end of Constitutional government for the simple reason that under the Constitution that was ratified by the people through their state legislatures from 1787-90, the Supreme Court does NOT have the right to review an act of Congress. I’m not an inconsistent double-talking right-winger, you know. I fully affirm that this means that unconstitutional legislation that I hate which comes from Congress must stand just as much as legislation I support. New Deal legislation, the Immigration Act of 1965, the Affordable Care Act, things like that.

    No, nobody “mainstream” agrees with me. The reason is because an imperial government which is not limited in any meaningful way in the scope and reach of its power is what we wake up to in an American morning today. Clarence and Antonin no more adhere to that document which has not been the law of the land in America for a century and a half, anymore than you do.

    Must you throw about silly little self-glorifying jabs like I haven’t actually read all those documents? Let’s get this out of the way right now, little chick. You have read the Constitution, and those other aforementioned documents, I’m sure, and so have I. I don’t like pulling out any tomes from my shelf for the one purpose of scanning them for certain passages or quotes, but just ask me to, and I will. Madison’s statement about the intentions of the writers of a constitutional document being totally secondary to those of the parties who RATIFIED it is the most important one, methinks.

    It is quite telling how your ultimate justification for the American Empire is the successful prosecution of a war AGAINST ITS OWN FELLOW CITIZENS, followed by an amendment which was never at any time ratified by the due and free consent, without intervention from outside parties, that is, of the requisite number of states. The war waged against its own citizens places your precious empire into a notorious little crowd including the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, and Maoist China, by the way.

  • Erika

    Yet Brock, in the end all of the original 13 states even the ones where the Anti-Federalists were powerful voted to ratify the Constitution anyway.

    You can read all you want – and frankly, i do not believe that you actually have because then you would know about the Supremacy Clause, that the Bill of Rights protects people and not states, and that the Fourteenth Amendment put a definitive end to any notion (which was wrongheaded from the start) that the Constitution was a union of states and not a union of people. i believe that you have simply been listening to conmen like Glenn Beck and David Barton who are not historians but are proven liars.

    Nobody mainstream agrees with you – not even Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia (who is at least honest enough to admit that “original intent” like The Bible can be used to prove almost anything – seriously, he admitted that “original intent” really means “what Antonin Scalia thinks” in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission). That should tell you something. The best way to tell intent is through the original document and the Supremacy Clause – as well as the creation of a Supreme Court who can review state court decisions – clearly makes it clear that the intended result of that sauage making in Philadelphia was to create a federal system where the federal government is supreme.

    And btw, genius, having actually read Marbury v. Madison, i can also tell you that it actually limited the power of the federal government by striking down an Act of Congress as being unconstitutional. That you do not realize that makes me seriously question whether you have actually read anything. Well, maybe Glenn Beck’s book or one of those “Politically Incorrect Guides” which obviously contain a misprint in that they included an extra word in the title – it should have been “Incorrect Guide” (and if you are a fan of irony, one can note that they actually contain the Politically Correct view according to right wingers).

  • Brock Henderson

    Ace, please understand that I know the tactics of Cultural Marxism. Label the wars against Native Americans for conquest of the American frontier “genocide,” for the purpose of demoralizing the people concerning their history, that is. But if your intentions are more noble than theirs, and you truly believe what you said, then the floor is yours for demonstrating how those wars constitute a mass murder of people, akin to, say, McVeigh the American in Oklahoma City, killing a couple hundred of his FELLOW AMERICANS. The Native American tribes were a handful of many separate and sovereign communities of people, and the American colonists from Europe were totally alien armies/communities of people to the Natives. They did not share the same history, and were not members of one single country under one governmental jurisdiction. That being said, please explain how the American colonial wars against the Natives were any different than any other wars of one nation-state against another. War can be atrocious, yes, but genocidal?

    Erika, no, I did not say that the Feds NEVER intervened in the economy prior to the Civil War. I simply said you have to go back that far in order to find periods of time free of the type of regulations and interventions the American economy has since seen in the corporatist postbellum era. First I should clarify that I mean regulations and interventions stronger and more intrusive than the original system of tariffs and excise taxes. Of course there were always those, as there is no such thing as a completely free market of goods and services.

    I have read the Declaration, Articles, Constitution, Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, and all the debates and state ratification statements. What we can glean from these documents meshes quite finely with logic: No state fought to be free of an imperial government just a few years earlier just to turn right around and give it up to a new one they would be tricked into consenting to. The type of radical Federalist Party interpretation you are advancing makes the Constitution into a document paving the way for an American Empire, not a federal constitutional republic created by consent of several independent states. The monster grandfathered by that party in Wisconsin in 1854, the Republican Party, gave you what you wanted when it captured the presidency a few years afterward, though, so the Convention in Philly in 1787 was only a total loss for your ideological ancestors for three quarters of a century.

    Yes, I bet you’d like to assert that the text on its face is the key to knowing what it means, since the most wiley and sneaky authoritarian Federalists, the rats that Patrick Henry smelled, wrote it. But I’m sorry, dear Erika. James Madison, the most principled Federalist at the Convention, stated what simple logic dictates on that subject, that the only true meaning of the Constitution adopted by the United States is what the people represented in their individual statehouses RATIFIED, not what Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Madison WROTE. The verdict from such documents does not favor you and your ideological kind, Erika. The statements of ratification from most of the individual statehouses affirm the Anti-Federalist standpoint and make it plain that the people sent their representatives FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES to ratify a document which would reserve to their newly independent state governments a plenary list of rights of self-government which did not conflict with the rights they knowingly gave up to the new federal government. They were tricked into sending delegates to debate a whole new constitution, anyway, rather than what they were under the impression was going to be debated – just a few minor changes to the Articles of Confederation.

    Marbury vs. Madison started the downward spiral from republic to empire on the judicial front. Therefore the names of each and every one of those jurists and their silly fulminations and prevarications are useless for the purpose of a true understanding of the American Constitutional system of government. Thank you.

  • Aron

    Erika, I think I love you. Will you anonymously e-marry me? ;D

  • Erika

    Aron, i may well have to disappoint you since i really am having a hard time figuring out exactly what Brock is talking about – as far as i can tell, he seems to believe that the idea of a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is a totalitarian idea which definitely seems odd.

    i also wonder whether Brock has actually ever read the Constitution – i would recommend that he do so – its not very long, a quick read (be sure to read the Amendments – hint, the due process and equal protections clauses of Amendment XIV are very important) and you are sure to learn something.

    Brock somehow also thinks that the Bill of Rights were designed to protect the states or that the Constitution is nothing but a Confederation of essentially independent states. That is clearly wrong. Again, he really needs to read the Constitution – in this case, he could stop after the first line “We the People of the United States of America in order to establish a more perfect union.”

    The rest of his comments about history are quite strange – including the fact that he believes that the federal government did not intervene in the economy prior to the Civil War (odd since most Neo-Confederates and States Rights people argue that the “War of Northern Aggression” was fought due to tariffs and not slavery) – as the note should suggest this is clearly wrong. The federal government was relatively small at that point because there was relatively little interstate and foreign commerce. However, more rational historians would note that prior to the Civil War there were already major changes taking place due to improved transportation due to steam power.

    Steam power was also leading to more industrialization primarily in the north (in the south only Richmond, Virginia had significant private industry) which essentially transformed the country.

    The Constitution was completely transformed after the Civil War with the Fourteenth Amendment destroying any argument that the Constitution is a allignment of independent states – quite simply, the Fourteenth Amendment requires the states to protect the rights protected in the Bill of Rights through the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. It also requires the states to recognize all people born in the United States or Naturalized thereof as citizens. The states under the Fourthteenth Amendment are also required to obey federal law.

    Another factor which shows that your view is wrong is the 1824 decision in Gibbons v. Odgen which created the basis for what is legally known as the “negative commerce clause” which states that states are not allowed to interfere with interstate commerce. That decision was written by John Marshall who was of course a Federalist (appointed by Federalist President John Adams who was one of the leading Federalists along with Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison (primary authors of The Federalist Papers along with John Jay) – George Washington, btw was also a leading Federalist so that should tell you which side won the debate over the Constitution).

    While it is doubtful that the founding fathers would recognize the country, that is due to technological changes in communication and transportation. The governmental structure has with some amendments (the Civil War Amendments and the Progressive Era Amendments are the most important but neither altered the fundamental relationship between the federal governments and the states and to the extent that they altered the relationship between the states and the people it was to provide more power and protections of the people).

    But quite simply, anyone who thinks that hte Bill of Rights was intended to protect the states has obviously never read the actual Constitution. Hint, you are better off learning what the Constitution says from actually reading it rather than listening to a snake oil salesman like Glenn Beck. Or you can read some judges – in my opinion the best to read are Justice Cardozo (maybe the best judicial writer ever), Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit (both for his excellent judicial opinions which probably more than any other judge explains legal theory and his books but beware that some of his opinions are extremely kooky but he’s a great writer and will always make you think even (especially?) as you are ready to throw the book), Justice Scalia (beware that Scalia sometimes just makes things up as he admitted in Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission but he’s a truly a great writer and best explains the modern conservative view of the judiciary), Justice Stevens (the last great traditional conservative jurist – his opinions are often truly awesome in their respect for judicial restraint and individual rights – naturally by the time he retired, he was considered a liberal because of the rise of modern judicial conservativism), Justice Ginsburg (she is extremely underrated as a writer and a very good explainer of the law from a traditional judicial liberal/moderate viewpoint), Justice Breyer (former law professor at Harvard and a very good legal writer), Justice Brennen (look here or Chief Justice Warren for judicial liberalism), Justice John Marshall (for the 19th Century view), and Justice Black (the greatest textualist in American judicial history – what to know what the Constitution really says, read Justice Hugo Black’s opinions).

  • Ace

    “Whites and Native Americans picked cotton, too. Is land stolen by one nation of people when it successfully fights a war for it against another? Nope! No more than the Normans stole England from the Anglo-Saxons in 1066, or the Ottoman Empire stole Turkey from the Byzantines in 1453!”

    Here is the difference between the slaves and the Irish immigrants: Firstly, they CHOSE to immigrate, hence the term “Immigrant”.

    Secondly, they were not kept in centuries of slavery in order to pick this cotton, work the land, and perform other tasks. No one went to Ireland, looked for Irish, brought them here piled up in boats like wood, haggled over them like livestock, separated their families, punished attempts at education or independence, nor did the U.S. use terror to erase any cultural connection to their homelands. The Irish did not have their ethnicity used to define “blackness” in order to make sure that they, and their descendants would be owned by their masters indefinitely. They were not the targets of anti-north backlash and force to live in slavery-like conditions after being “freed”, laws were not put in place that would decide their “humanity” or “lack of it”. They were not kept in an apartheid until the modern era and then told to “move on” once that apartheid wasn’t profitable or “attractive” to their oppressors anymore.

    . The Irish were NOT slaves, and the anti-Irish oppression they faced was manipulated and gradually reduced when it was deemed profitable to promote them to “white” at the expense of black people. For you to imply that the prejudice the Irish experienced somehow negates the severity of chattel slavery and it’s impact on future generations is just ridiculous, and frankly rather offensive.

    What happened to the Native Americans in-masse was not related to the institution of slavery (except for those occasions where nations offered shelter to escaped slaves), nor should the genocide inflicted upon them be used so that you can make a rather nonsensical argument
    And the genocide of the indigenous people of America was not a “war”. It was a genocide. It would do you well to learn the difference before you attempt to justify such horrible things so nonchalantly.

  • Aron


    For someone who strives to ‘remain humble before the god you serve, by striving not to think himself too intelligent,’ you sure do exhibit an extraordinary amount of smugness.

    I remember reading something about pride going before the fall. But I could just be imagining that.

    And for now, I shall put my arguments in the able hands of dear Erika, who will use her lawyerly wisdom to pulverize your arguments far better than I, a mere historian of military technology could hope to do in this field.

  • Brock Henderson

    “See there’s a reason why it was called the Union of Soviet Socialist REPUBLICS. The relationship of the republics was radically different from that of the states and the US federal government. The basis for the break-up of the USSR was the Soviet constitution itself, which gave all union republics the right of self-determination up to secession. Please find the part of the US constitution that sounds that way.”

    Ruslan definitely didn’t major in U.S. History. The states that ratified the U.S. Constitution WERE THEMSELVES independent constitutional republics! Read each of their individual constitutions they had on their books at the time of ratification. They gave up only the powers spelled out in the original 7 articles of the new Federal Constitution.

    “Yeah see we tried this back in the so-called Gilded Age. It didn’t work out too well.”

    Since Day 1 of its existence, the GOP has been the party big corporations have gone to for government subsidies in order to get rich at the expense of the common folk and eliminate competition from them. They ruled the government with the exception of a couple of Cleveland presidencies during the Gilded Age. That does not equate to “getting government out of the way.” You have to go back to the Antebellum period to really observe an American economy without government intervention.

    “We’ve been trying it again since the 1980s, and it’s not working out.”


  • Brock Henderson

    Ha, this Ruslan character surely has a full head on his neck. I’ll just start from the top and work my way down!

    “America got rich off of stolen land and cotton picked by slaves.”

    Whites and Native Americans picked cotton, too. Is land stolen by one nation of people when it successfully fights a war for it against another? Nope! No more than the Normans stole England from the Anglo-Saxons in 1066, or the Ottoman Empire stole Turkey from the Byzantines in 1453!

    ” . . . the “white” phenotype, which has been defined and redefined numerous times since the late 17th century isn’t going extinct.”

    The boundaries of our solar system, galaxy, and the universe have been rediscovered and redefined over the centuries also. Is it impossible for those to go extinct, even though countless stars and their systems have done just that over the eons?

    “But they’re not alive, and it doesn’t matter what they think. They lived in the 18th century. If you think we should run things strictly according to the ideas of men from the 18th century then there’s no reason not to run things according to the ideas of men from the 16th century, or the 15th, or so on. We can start by getting rid of this Internet thing. I’m sure the Founding Fathers wouldn’t approve of it.”

    Yes, tell us how much you hate the American definition of freedom and liberty. I do enjoy it when a leftist finally quits beating around the bush and just says flat-out that it’s time to forget Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and Adams, and that pesky and outdated Constitution they devised which enshrines that definition into law.

    Methods of government and technological innovations/inventions are two very different things. They wouldn’t have “disapproved” of the internet any more than they would the microwave, light bulb, phone, or internal combustion engine.

    “Yes, of course. That’s why you fight to ban abortion, restrict birth control, and deny gay people their civil rights. It’s because you care so deeply about freedom.”

    Yes, because there IS a broad array of these things called “civil rights” which have all been COMPLETELY AGREED UPON by the American people, and codified into law in strict accordance with the methods required by the Constitution of the U.S. Oh, wait, no there isn’t and no they haven’t! And yes, contraception and abortion have everything to do with freedom. Oh, wait – nah, never mind, sarcasm gets tiresome after awhile.

    “Technically it’s not entirely your money since you didn’t print it,”

    A believer in totalitarian statist government, on the SPLC blog roll, imagine that! Then again, sarcasm doesn’t bore me too easily.

    ” . . . and you don’t do all the necessary labor which is required to maintain the dollar as a stable currency.”

    Uh, what could the American middle class buy with its wages, say, a century ago, as opposed to now? Yeah . . . stable currency . . . right.

  • Brock Henderson


    An AMERICA that ceased to exist? Please specify. That brush stroke is way too broad. A nation of people, whether real or just pretending to be (Here’s a hint to help you out: The American “nation” falls into the latter category, and always has), does not change from one form into another by way of somebody’s signature. Is that what you were talking about when you said “America” – all of its people from New England to Georgia? Well, then the reality of the situation is quite simple: No, in fact it did not, any more than it will change at the moment when Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term next month. Now, as for changes in, say, technology, which truly do have a direct felt effect on all the people when they reach them, like the mass production of the automobile, those are a different story. The America of the 19th century definitely ceased to exist when Ford started producing the Models A and T.

    Of course, if you are one of those types who believes that the government is inextricably tied to the people it governs, that the government is the people and the people are the government, then I understand where you’re coming from – the viewpoint of totalitarian statism.

    As for The Articles of Confederation’s replacement with the Constitution, yes, there were changes which gave the new Federal Constitutional Republic more powers over the handful of several constitutional republics which created it, more than the Confederation had, that is. They are listed amongst the original 7 articles of the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists who were the driving force behind The Bill of Rights made sure those few necessary powers were kept in check and that the rest of the rights inherent in autonomous and mostly-independent government remained with the States.

    For the purpose of remaining humble before the God I serve, I strive everyday to not think myself overly smart, thank you for your concern. How are you in that department?