What if the federal government views the Constitution as an obstacle to be avoided? What if many of its most earnest endeavors have been spent finding ways to evade it? What if the dual purposes of the Constitution were and remain the establishment of a limited federal government and the imposition of restraints upon it?
What if the states formed the federal government and not the other way around? What if the states that formed the federal government and the states that joined it contemplated at the time of formation and joining that they can correct it when it exceeds the powers that the states gave it?
What if the federal government’s only source of powers is those delegated to it by the states in the Constitution? What if those delegated powers are spelled out in the Constitution so that all persons can read what powers the feds have and recognize that all remaining governmental powers not delegated to the feds have been retained by the states?
What if when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, which was unanimously adopted by Congress and which launched the American Revolution, he defined “the consent of the governed” as the necessary linchpin for a moral and legitimate government? What if the government is not moral and thus not legitimate if it lacks the consent of the governed?
What if, to address this, Jefferson argued that the government should begin anew every 19 or 20 years — and the new government would require the consent of the governed for its moral legitimacy?
What if no one living today has consented to the federal government?
What if the culture of the federal government has become an out-of-control Leviathan in the past 100 years? What if Leviathan believes that it can right any wrong, regulate any behavior, tax any event, borrow any amount, fight any war, tell any lie, torture any foe and kill any person, no matter what the Constitution says? What if Leviathan derives its unjust powers from its own will and not from the states that created it or the Constitution that is supposed to regulate it?
What if all who work for Leviathan take an oath to uphold the Constitution? What if that oath legally binds those who take it to the plain meaning and values underlying the words in the Constitution?
What if the feds can only right wrongs in areas of governance delegated to them in the Constitution? What if the Constitution plainly leaves areas of governance such as health, safety, welfare and morality to the states?
What if Leviathan is made up of folks who view the states not as independent sovereign entities but as subservient administrative regions whose wills can be bent by distributing federal cash? What if those who control Leviathan truly want to trample the states, tell us all how to live, seize our wealth and give it away, and compel us to take drugs against our wills?
What if there is no authority in the Constitution for the feds to tell us all how to live and to compel us all to receive experimental drugs? What if the government signed a treaty right after World War II that prohibits all nations that have signed it from compelling any persons to receive experimental drugs?
What if the feds treat their commitments under treaties just as they do their restraints under the Constitution — with disdain and indifference?
What if the feds believe it is politically wise for them to compel us to receive experimental drugs? What if the feds have done this even though they have no authority for it from the Constitution and even though the Supreme Court has ruled that all competent adults can refuse any medication and all competent parents can make unimpeded health and medical decisions for their children?
What if the feds have no authority whatsoever to enter upon private property without a search warrant and tell an employer how to run a business?
What if the federal edicts promulgated by the president and his bureaucrats are not laws that can be enforced with penalties? What if under the Constitution, only Congress — not the president and not the bureaucrats — can write laws? What if the president hasn’t even asked Congress to enact such laws?
What if the president doesn’t care about the Constitution he has sworn to uphold and instead directed bureaucrats to issue edicts and pretend that they are laws? What if it is dangerous to personal liberty for the feds to defy the Constitution?
What if some courageous governors tell their police not to enforce federal edicts? What if the feds lack the resources to enforce their edicts on their own? What if the feds suffer a huge political backlash because of their imposition of edicts that assault personal liberty and invade private property?
What if the next edicts will make it nearly impossible to exercise the ancient right to self-defense? What if the feds who cannot ban guns will soon ban ammunition?
What if the states ignore the feds? What if they refuse its cash and decline its bribes? What if we are all left free to make our own choices when it comes to personal liberty, private property and self-defense?
What if the feds don’t take lightly a massive and state-generated defiance of their edicts? What if the feds wrongly use force to compel compliance with their edicts? What if most folks fear the feds because they prefer safety to freedom?
What if the feds are wrong on the Constitution, wrong on the law and wrong on the immoral use of force? What if the resisters are right?
What if it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong? What do we do about it?
• Andrew P. Napolitano is a former professor of law and judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey who has published nine books on the U.S. Constitution.