This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As a parent, what wouldn't you give for a personal instruction manual for your children? Parenting is a special responsibility that requires love, a clear understanding of appropriate boundaries, and a dedication to discipline … especially when it's hard. When parents shrink from this important responsibility in order to be liked, everyone suffers.
States are literally the parents of the national government, not the other way around. "All of us need to be reminded," President Reagan famously said, "that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government."
From the beginning, the framers defined clear boundaries for the "more perfect Union" of states, explaining:
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State" (Federalist 45).
By all accounts, Washington is broken. It blatantly defies constitutional boundaries. It is no more likely that a disobedient national government will discipline itself than a disobedient teenager would voluntarily discipline himself.
Leading a "separate and independent sovereign" state (NFIB v. Sebelius, 2012) is a special responsibility. When a governor shrinks from the constitutional responsibility to maintain and defend constitutional boundaries in order to be liked, everyone suffers the nation, the states, and the people.
For seven years now, Gov. Gary Herbert has, at best, stood idly by as federal control over our state metastasizes. For example, Gov. Herbert has:
• embraced the national Common Core and SAGE testing, undermining local control over the education of our children;
• aggressively pushed for the enslaving control of Obamacare Medicaid expansion,; and
• advocated for permanent federal control over even more of our lands through new national monuments and federal wilderness as a go-along-to-get-along "compromise," despite a recent landmark legal analysis revealing that the federal government has zero authority to retain 66 percent of our lands.
No wonder late Speaker Becky Lockhart famously dubbed Herbert the "inaction figure" of our state.
It's time for a leader who understands what the Supreme Court recently reiterated: "the independent power of the States also serves as a check on the arbitrary power" of the federal government. (NFIB v. Sebelius, 2012). Gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson clerked for the Utah Supreme Court and has a working knowledge of these constitutional boundaries.
It's time for a leader who is unafraid to stand for what's right, even if that means standing alone and not being liked by those inside the D.C. beltway. Jonathan Johnson successfully took on and beat the biggest of the big on Wall Street who were engaged in an illegal practice that hurt jobs and average citizens, even when he came under severe attack and the pundits didn't believe it could be done.
It's time for a leader who understands land is the essence of liberty, a leader who will not settle for anything less than our full statehood equality. Jonathan Johnson knows that Utah will never be anything more than a colony of D.C., deprived of our full ability to fund education and care for our lands, unless we compel the federal government to relinquish our lands on terms of equality and fairness with all states east of the Rockies.
As you consider your important vote for Utah's next governor, ask yourself: Is Gary Herbert the governor who will stand up to an increasingly overbearing federal government? Or, is he merely a nice man who will go along to get along while everyone suffers?
It's time for a governor who loves this state and this country enough to maintain and defend the constitutional boundaries, even against a petulant national government, for the protection of our individual liberty, our right and control of property, and the right to determine our own destiny. It's time to elect Jonathan Johnson as Utah's next governor.
Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, has served in the Utah House of Representatives since being elected in 2010. He educates nationwide on the principles of federalism and state sovereignty.