Miles Steadman - East Valley Tribune: Centennial Essays

Miles Steadman

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Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:33 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Fri Apr 29, 2011.

On October 18, 1993 I was born in the Chandler Regional Hospital here in Arizona. I have lived in Arizona all my life, but have traveled to many different places in my time. The strongest feeling upon returning home from a long vacation is always one of joy. Traveling around the world makes me realize how great the state we live in actually is. From the meticulously sculpted Grand Canyon to the thriving metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona will always stimulate a feeling of pride.

Recently, Arizona has passed several bills considered controversial by other states and the media. Arizona has chosen to lead the fight against tyrannical government. Our national government was formed years ago, with the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. The Constitution and its amendments were drafted with the idea of controlling the power of government, not the power of the people. In the words of the renowned statesman John C. Calhoun: “The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.” Those choosing to criticize Arizona’s actions in recent years often claim that we are a missing spoke in the wheel of the union, and that as one nation, we must work together. The true, and great responsibilities placed upon the states by our constitution, are to keep federal government in check. Our form of government relies on checks and balances to reduce the opportunity for tyrannical rule.

The most recent bill passed that has caused controversy is Senate Bill 1433. This bill focuses on the constitutionality of the federal government in the regulation of intrastate commerce. The Constitution gives the federal government power to regulate interstate commerce, but nowhere does it specify intrastate. The federal government has broadly interpreted the Constitution in order to tax and regulate all types of commerce. Arizona senators and citizens have realized that the federal government has overstepped its power, and needs to be put in check.

Though one of the younger states, Arizona has a deep history. Arizona was a thriving agricultural society for many centuries before Spanish conquistadors arrived. Since, this rough and resilient land has been passed from Native American hands to Spanish, to Mexican, and finally landed in the lap of the United States. Arizona is the home place of several political figures like former presidential candidates Barry Goldwater and John McCain. Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor also lived in Arizona.

Arizona has been a father in my upbringing, and I hope that I have the opportunity to give back to it one day. I doubt that Arizona will be remembered as some liberal media stations call us: “racist.” But I hope we will leave our mark as the state that stayed resilient during a time of struggle. When it looked like the power of states was to be completely consumed by the monster of federal government, Arizona stood tall, and fought for the rights of states throughout this nation.

• Miles Steadman, junior, Desert Vista High School, Ahwatukee

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