- - Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our Constitution is being hijacked, and it’s time to reclaim it.

I spent my entire career fighting for the Constitution, for limited government and regulation, lower taxes and less government in our lives. We’re losing that battle right now, and it’s not because the other side has the better arguments. We have to show voters that the debate here can be conducted on a very high level, that the Constitution embodies a form of government that reflects the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence.

In America’s formative years, our nation adhered to that Constitution. But about 130 years ago, the Progressives, progressivism philosophy and a new world view started coming out of Europe, reflecting a mentality in which social welfare trumped individual freedom. Our first progressive president was Theodore Roosevelt. Our biggest progressive president was Woodrow Wilson.


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There was only one hitch: It doesn’t work.

Our problems today reflect this mistaken world view that whatever society decides is right will be imposed on the people, rather than ensuring liberty for all and guaranteeing individual freedom. That’s why we find ourselves with a $17 trillion debt — soon to be $20 trillion. That’s why our social fabric is completely shredded. That’s why abortion has claimed the lives of 55 millions babies, why our divorce rate is so high, why nearly 50 percent of the babies born in this country were born out of wedlock.

The result? Our social fabric is ripped apart. Our government is on the wrong track.

But with our problems comes a new opportunity. Now is the perfect time for us to engage in the great, fundamental debate on whether we return to the values of the Constitution and whether we once again adhere to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence that God gave us our freedoms. It is the government’s paramount duty to protect those freedoms. The other side argues that government stands in the place of God and that man can decide what is truth and what values we should adhere to. Now, before it’s too late, is the time to have this debate.

We have a president who thinks he is a king, who embraces the progressive world view. President Obama cannot hide behind the progressive banner any longer. From my long career in the private and public sectors, I see this moment as a great opportunity to have a revolution for the Constitution and to bring God back into the public square.

Obamacare is the poster child for what I’m talking about. Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the authority or the responsibility to be involved in the health insurance business? This is a law that should never have been passed, a law that went nowhere when I last served in the House. Obamacare doesn’t need to be replaced. It doesn’t need to be fixed. It must be repealed.

In the debate to come, what we need to focus on is the fundamental truth that the federal government has no right to be involved in the health insurance business. That prerogative is left to the states, as set forth in the 10th Amendment. If the states want to get involved with health care reform, let them do it. But the federal government has no right to mandate anything in this field.

I know a little something about how these things work on Capitol Hill, about how to develop the strategies and tactics with the House of Representatives and the Senate to restore the power and principles of the Constitution. The House still has the power of the purse. You can’t have Obamacare unless the House agrees to pay for it. In the days ahead, I hope to outline the path to repealing Obamacare, ridding the country of an unconstitutional program, and challenging the progressive agenda in the general election in November.

• Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader and founder of First Principles LLC, appears on a weekly on-demand radio show, “Getting it Right,” on Washington Times Radio.