To Be or Not to Be [a nation] – That is the Question

2 August 2014 AD

What is a nation? Dictionary.com says it’s “a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own“. Okay, this is a pretty good definition of ‘nation’. How does a ‘state’ differ from a ‘nation’?

milton friedmanThe Law Dictionary online defines a ‘state’ as “A body politic, or society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage, by the joint efforts of their combined strength.”

Ours is a nation of states, as opposed to, say, Israel or Egypt that are ‘nation states’. Countries to our south, like Guatemala and Colombia, are nation states while Mexico is, or was, also a nation of states.

Up until now, the official name of Mexico from the time of the 1821 revolution translates as “the United States of Mexico” or “United Mexican States”. Mexico’s identity has been changing over time and now there is a move to change its official name to simply “Mexico”. Mexico is undergoing a metamorphosis from a “nation of states” (Texas was once one of those Mexican states) to a “nation state”. Is this a good thing for our neighbors to the south? I don’t think so.

Essential ingredients for a nation are borders, culture and language.

Our country, lacking adequately educated citizens, inches toward becoming a “nation state” as federal – central – government rapidly grows way beyond its constitutionally defined role of governance while state governments weaken.

As per the Tenth Amendment, the Founding Fathers understood the many and wonderful benefits of small government, local government. It was for the purpose of protecting us from fascism and socialism the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were ratified. To wit:

Amendment IX

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Amendment X

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Read “Thirty Enumerated Powers” from the Tenth Amendment Center: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/historical-documents/united-states-constitution/thirty-enumerated-powers/ 

Are we at risk of losing our status as a nation of states? If your friends and neighbors know the names of elected officials, their knowledge usually limits itself to President, Governor and perhaps one U.S. Senator. Do they know the names of their respective State Representative or State Senator? Are the names of their City Council members known to them? What about County Commissioners and School Board Trustees? Our voters are, as a whole, very, very ignorant. We are ignorant of our history. We are ignorant of our structures of government, and willingly so.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

I challenge you to read and study American history, the Declaration of Independence, our U.S. Constitution and the Holy Bible.

Let’s choose not to be stupid.


John White

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