Thomas Jefferson once said, “Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers ... a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” The Tenth Amendment Center recognizes that this is a viable option against the growing Leviathan that is the United States federal government and believes it is a policy that should be revisited by the American people. Therefore, it launched the Nullify Now! tour as a means to highlight Jefferson’s philosophy and emphasize the constitutional basis for such an option.
At the Kansas City event, which took place at the Truman Auditorium in the Kansas City Library Plaza Branch, best-selling author Thomas Woods, Jr. appeared as the keynote speaker. Woods has appeared at a number of Nullify Now! events as an expert on the concept of nullification. His book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, has been touted as the "blueprint for liberty” since it expertly outlines the purpose and benefits of nullification.
Woods began by outlining the foundation for nullification, found in the 1798 Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, written by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. He summed it up quite simply:
The federal government is a government of limited enumerated powers.... The states delegated those powers to the federal government. The states came before the federal government.... The peoples of the states are sovereign, and those peoples apportion their sovereign powers, delegating some of them to the state governments and others to the federal government in the Constitution. When the federal government attempts to exercise a power that has not been delegated to it, therefore, that attempted exercise of power is null and void, and of no force.
Woods asserted the growing popularity of the nullification movement and pointed to a petition circulated in the state of Missouri signed by 45 organizations that urged state legislators to meet with Woods to discuss state nullification. Woods told the audience, “Five years ago, who would have expected that?”
Woods acknowledged, however, that despite the growing popularity of state nullification, the mainstream media and many in the establishment continue to ignore it or deem it is an extreme alternative.
“These are ideas that you won’t read about in the New York Times, or in Newsweek ... but ... the beauty of this whole meeting is that we don’t care. We’re not going to limit ourselves to the narrow range of choices that the New York Times and Washington Post offer us. They are our enemies, they’re not going to give us choices that are going to work for us,” said Woods.
“We have to persuade people. What they’ve been taught in seventh grade really is untrue, that federal supremacy is how it’s supposed to work,” he announced.
Overall, Woods, in his unique brand of delivery, utilized both humor and his expertise to reach his main point:
“When our opinions change, regimes fall or change. And it can happen peacefully, simply by the withdrawal of consent. Ultimately, when the mass of the public says we’re not going to be treated like this anymore, things do change. Because the people responsible for putting us in this situation are a small minority. We are the majority.”
In addition to Woods, the event boasted other prominent speakers, including Kansas Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, Kansas Tea Party Patriots coordinator Dee Saddler, the Tenth Amendment Center’s Michael Boldin, and John Birch Society speaker/The New American writer Joe Wolverton.
The Nullify Now! tour has made a number of stops in 2010 and 2011, including Phoenix, Arizona, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Orlando, Florida. The next stop on the tour will be in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 22 .
Photo: Thomas Woods in Kansas City