An increasing number of City Councils, County Boards, fraternal and business groups, and left-wing activists groups are passing resolutions calling for a boycott of Arizona businesses. The left has gone all out to derail Arizona’s effort to assist the Federal Government in its enforcement of immigration law. All of these groups have two things in common. First, they are all dominated by progressive idiot elitists. Second, they all display a disdain for, or ignorance of our Constitution. It is precisely this type of behavior that the “commerce clause” in the Constitution was intended to prevent.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, gives Congress the power to…“regulate commerce… among the several states.” The key words here are “regulate” and “commerce”. When politicians run across one of these two words, their eyes turn green with a lust for power, their brain cells turn to mush and they conjure up all types of esoteric meanings to apply to them. They become beside themselves in imagining all the possibilities for using these words to abridge our liberties and control our lives. Their true meaning however, are not all that complicated.
The dictionary defines “regulate” as “control by rule, principle, or system”. There are thousands of regulators in our every day life— beside the bureaucrats from Washington. Traffic signals regulate the flow of traffic. Faucets, meters and valves regulate the flow of water. Regulators of one type or another regulate the flow of electricity to our appliances. To clearly understand the meaning of the word “regulate“ and its limits, imagine the faucet on your bathtub. Its purpose is to regulate the proper flow of hot and cold water into the tub. When you turn the faucet off, it no longer acts as a regulator. Instead, if functions as a blocker preventing the flow.
Commerce also has a simple and easy to understand meaning for everyone except politicians. It simply means “trade”. When the Constitution was written, the phrase “regulate commerce among the several states” simply meant to “make it regular”. Under the Articles of Confederation, states were free to regulate trade between them as each saw fit. Many states, in order to protect craftsmen and businesses in their own state, prohibited the importation of certain goods from other states or placed tariffs on them that discouraged their purchase. State laws under the Confederation became a hodgepodge of taxes, tariffs, boycotts, restrictions and anti-trade policies that crippled the economies of the various states and hindered the growth of commerce.
The commerce clause was placed in the Constitution to eliminate this problem and establish free trade between the states; no more; no less. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to make uniform rules governing interstate trade to facilitate the free flow of goods and services between them. That is the constitutional limits on the power of Congress to regulate commerce. Instead of criticizing and berating the State of Arizona for illustrating the Federal Government’s failure in its constitutional duty to protect our borders, it should be coming down on the state, city and local governments for conspiring to interfere with the free flow of commerce between the states. It certainly should not be encouraging boycotts.
When the President of the United States gives a foreign Head of State a platform for publicly criticizing one of our sovereign states and encouraging domestic protest, as he did this week, while it may not rise to the Constitution’s definition of treason, it certainly comes close to an impeachable offense for dereliction of duty and malfeasance in office. When Congress invites that same Head of State to speak to a joint session of Congress and then gives him a standing ovation when he repeats the same criticism, as it also did this week, it is a betrayal of the American people and ample reason to remove them from office at the next election.