Sunday, October 17, 2010

Condoms, Interstate Commerce, and Why You Should Care

Think about condoms for a minute. Yes, condoms. We know what they do and (most of us) know how to use them. But how often do we think about where they came from? What went into making the condom, from the material being pulled out of the ground someplace to being on the business end of some randy fellow? I'm not in the condom making business, so I can't say exactly what goes into the production of condoms, but there are a few things I can reasonably guess at. For starters, there is latex and lubrication, made up of various materials, themselves made up of various ingredients from many different sources. The plastic wrapper is similar; the plant making condoms is located somewhere but not everywhere, so they have to be shipped by trucks running on diesel, both of which are made from materials manufactured all over the place.

Why am I asking you to think about this? Because if ObamaCare is a legal manifestation of the Interstate Commerce Clause, Congress can regulate or even ban condoms, because at some point in time any material used to make condoms may have crossed a state line.

Actually, now that I think of it, sex itself could technically be sold over a state line. That (sex) is interstate commerce. Ergo, Congress can regulate sex.

And the Republicans are about to win a massive election. Care yet?

It terrifies me that so many people would demand Congress pass a universal health care law without ever asking whether the Constitution allows such a policy. They asked no questions about this philosophy of government, just as Pandora asked no questions about what would happen if she opened the famous box.

ObamaCare goes far beyond a norm that is already far beyond what prudence and our Founding Fathers would allow. ObamaCare goes so far as to say that not participating in an economic activity is a form of interstate trade, because in an ever minute way it could possibly impact some form of interstate trade somewhere. Theoretically, any action or inaction could do that! If we allow this philosophy of government to stand, it follows that the government can regulate any activity or inactivity any person anywhere in this nation does. If this is allowed to stand, the government can effectively pass laws requiring us to do anything it bids because, in theory, we could possibly be involved in interstate trade were we left alone.

It creates an all powerful government. There are no checks if the government can regulate inactivity because people could have been involved in interstate trade instead. This clause was put into the Constitution mainly to prohibit states from imposing duties and banning trade among states; it was certainly never intended to allow the federal government to regulate the citizens of this nation down to the smallest detail of their lives.

Even if you believe a national health care system forcing everyone to purchase health care insurance is a good thing (an opinion we do not share), you should still be concerned by the new version of Pandora's Box you are opening. Very soon, people you do not support politically will have the government and these new powers you have unconstitutionally apportioned to the current administration. You may disagree with how they will use their new found ability to regulate your life, but you will have no moral right to say they do not have the authority to do so. You yourself gave it to them.

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