The defining conservative platform for this American Century.
Ensuring Domestic Tranquility
In setting as a proper overall objective of government that of ensuring domestic tranquility, the Founders were referring to a general peaceable set of conditions of life in this country. Part of this involved the ability of citizens to live in circumstances that were settled and secure, with no domestic insurrections, and with their neighborhoods and communities adequately protected from predatory criminals abroad in the land. Yet another part of ensuring domestic tranquility involved Congress setting the relationships among the states, especially in regard to such issues as financial matters of commerce and interstate trade, and legal matters including extraditions between states, so that the states and their respective residents were treated uniformly and equally by the national level of government. That these concerns have little currency is a measure of how small the common understanding of federalist principles is today.
Under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, Congress is specifically assigned the power to regulate commerce among the several states, to coin money and regulate its value, to fix standards of weights and measures, to establish uniform rules of naturalization, to make uniform bankruptcy laws for the nation as a whole, to provide punishment of counterfeiting securities and coins, to establish post offices and post roads, and to provide for calling forth the militia to suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
As discussed elsewhere in this Platform, we New Federalists believe that Congress has reassigned these specific powers, duties and responsibilities to such an improper, constitutionally impermissible extent that the legislative role is no longer being sufficiently served as defined under our Constitution. We have thus urged Congress to reassert those powers by returning to direct congressional purview those agencies and organizations that now exert these powers independently of Congress. For example, New Federalism urges that all banking and money decisions be returned to Congress, including repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, restructuring of the Federal Reserve System, and bringing related monetary and valuation decisions back into compliance with the Mint Act of 1792.
As the Constitution specifically notes, Congress bears responsibility for matters related to national borders and immigration and naturalization, as part of ensuring domestic tranquility. We favor Congress exercising these powers and responsibilities, rather than executive branch agencies operating independently of Congress, except for occasional but ineffective hearings that cannot accurately be deemed "oversight." The interdiction of illegal drugs and other contraband at the borders has relevance to matters of common defense and national security as well, given the possibility for large-scale terrorism from miniaturized weapons of mass destruction.
Another necessary component of domestic tranquility throughout the United States involves citizens who freely exercise their responsibilities within their families, their neighborhoods, and their communities. The bedrock of peace and safety at home is peace and safety in the homes of families and individual citizens.