Get Back to the Constitution. All of it. (as printed in the San Antonio Express-News)

America is in crisis. We may not have soup lines running around the block as we did in the Great Depression, but we do have 48 million citizens who can’t feed their babies and are on food stamps. We are nearly $20 trillion in debt, and we have voted ourselves $200 trillion in unfunded mandates.

The solution is to get back to our Constitution—all of it.

What does the Constitution have to do with America’s financial situation? Socialism and economic fascism are what drive wealth to the top 1%, not free market capitalism. When I traveled to the Soviet Union as a young man, there were millionaires and billionaires, and everyone else was dirt poor. Dirt poor. Government regulation, which only large businesses can afford to deal with, crushes small businesses that create 80% of new jobs, and it drives other jobs overseas. Instead of voting for the limited government that can return our country to solvency, professional politicians in the Republican Party have continued to vote for big government, big spending, and for the mechanisms that enable special interests.

They continue to do so because they have not had a cogent, articulated philosophy in the midst of an ideological war. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, there were socialist and communist parties in the United States, and they folded up shop, joined the Democrats, and gave the Democrats a cogent, articulated philosophy. That does not mean every single Democrat is a socialist or a communist, but it gave their party a compass.

A powerful balance to socialism might have been libertarianism, but Libertarians are by and large purists who refuse to join the Republican Party. This has left the Republicans as the opposition party even when they are in power. They have merely opposed specific policies and programs and spending increases rather than fighting for and getting results for our values. They run for office on a platform of limited government, but once in office they preserve the beast of big government and get back to trying to ride it better than the Democrats. But the people want to kill the beast.

The solution is for the Republican Party to be the party of the Constitution. When Republicans get caught arguing over $3.2 trillion in spending vs. $3.3 trillion, they are on the Democrats’ playing field and our values and our country lose. Gramm-Rudman, which tried to reduce the size of government by cutting spending, did not work, nor has any iteration of it. The only way to cut the size of government is by cutting the size of government—with the Constitution.

We must take out the 10th Amendment, dust it off, and ask, “Why and on what Constitutional grounds is the federal government in this or that business?” What Constitutional grounds does the federal government have in running a Department of Education or an EPA, both of which have only been around since the 1970’s, or any other Department or agency?

We CAN get rid of departments of the federal government and return power to the States. In times of crisis, major change is possible and necessary. What kind of change will we have? Will we double down on the era of Big Government? We must not. We must reduce the size and scope of the federal government, not by trying to “rein in” spending or by “reining in” any of these various bureaucracies, but by killing them. Constitutionally.

The Constitution is the rallying flag to heal the party and repair the country. Let’s use the tools the founding fathers gave us and restore America.