Today I had the distinct pleasure of joining over 1 million people (according to ABC news, the number may have been 2 million) march down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. The march was dedicated to the cause of limited government, lower taxes, and greater individual liberty. The attendance figure which I had heard mentioned on 9/11 by people decidedly in the know was over 100,000 people, which was impressive. However, when I read after returning from the march that the police estimate of attendance was 1.2 million, with estimates ranging up to 2 million people, I was astounded. As someone who was actually there, I can say that there were people literally farther than the eye can see.
It was a truly humbling experience to be a small part of the events today. I know that many organizations, including Freedomworks, the Heritage Foundation, and countless others, played a huge role in organizing it. But most of the credit has to go to the people who came from the farthest reaches of America (including Hawaii and Alaska) to protest the behavior in Washington.
It makes no sense to blame the politicians for the mess which we are in (trillions of dollars in debt, high taxes, onerous regulations, and out of control spending). The responsibility lies with us. As I have blogged before, the Constitution which limits the Congress to its enumerated powers does not actually limit the Congress in any way. Laws are binding because they have enforcement measures attached to them. Imagine if a state legislature said that going over 55 miles per hour was a crime, but there would be no punishment for violating this law. Why would anyone obey it?
Who exists to enforce the Constitution? We do. There are no formal powers given to any body to limit Congress to its enumerated powers. Our only recourse is to "vote the bums out" and give our votes to real, principled individuals who are willing to follow the Constitution.
I suppose if they want to, States can enact little Europeanized social democracies. Anyone who really wants to live with Big Brother constantly in your wallet and looking over your shoulder should be free to move into one of these states. But the Feds should definitely not be involved in turning all of America into a Europeanized country. And apparently at least 1 million people believe that passionately enough to come to D.C. from all over the country to let their voices be heard. Bravo.