Walter E. Williams mentions Free State Project on Hannity & Colmes
NOTE: The opinions and commentary expressed in this essay are those of the author and are an exercise of free speech. They do not necessarily represent the views of Free State Project Inc., its Directors, its Officers, or its Participants.
<Show: FOX HANNITY & COLMES>
<Date: August 8, 2002>
HANNITY: Also coming up tonight, we'll tell you about one
travel nightmare. She was traveling with her baby, and she says she was
forced to drink her own breast milk before she was allowed on an
She's going to join us with that personal story, exclusively, coming
in just a few minutes.
But first, we're now joined by our good friend, economic professor,
Dr. Walter Williams is with us.
Professor, always good to see you. How are you?
WALTER WILLIAMS, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: OK. And you?
HANNITY: All right. I'm terrific. Thank you very much.
All right. Federal government has limited enumerated powers.
WILLIAMS: That's right. They're listed in Article I, Section 8, of
the United States Constitution.
HANNITY: The states was where the action was supposed to be. And
WILLIAMS: That is right.
HANNITY: And we have massive redistribution of the wealth, I think
you could argue, none of which could be justified under the
Constitution. We agree on that?
WILLIAMS: You're absolutely right. Matter of fact, look, Madison
said, and I believe it's Federalist Paper 45 ...
WILLIAMS: ... that the powers that the founders gave the federal
government are few and well defined.
HANNITY: And you point ...
WILLIAMS: Those left to the state are numerous and many.
HANNITY: And you point in the ratification of states, that they had
provisions in there as it relates to secession, if the federal
government oversteps their bounds. Correct?
WILLIAMS: That is absolutely right. Matter of fact, if states did
not believe at the time, in 1787, that they could secede if the Congress
started getting abusive, they would have never ratified the
HANNITY: I'm wondering, though -- and this is where I'm hoping to
learn something tonight. And I really mean this. Because I'm
sympathetic to the philosophical point that you're making here.
Secession is not resolved in the Constitution. It's silent on
secession in the Constitution. So, ...
WILLIAMS: You're absolutely right.
HANNITY: ... so, my thinking, though, is that the war resolved that
issue -- the Civil War. Tell me where I'm wrong.
WILLIAMS: It was resolved through brute force. I mean, it was --
and look at the end of the Civil War. Not a single member of the
Confederacy was held for treason, because it was taken for granted that states could secede.
HANNITY: Yeah, all right, but at that point, didn't we resolve
that? Because, I think, the point you're making here is, you know, the process by which states have the right to leave the Union if they feel that these enumerated powers of the federal government that they've overstepped their bounds, which I agree, they have overstepped their bounds.
HANNITY: Explain the process, what you're thinking on this, and
what you suggest.
WILLIAMS: OK, well, there's an organization that's called
FreeStateProject.org. And what they're suggesting is that 20 or 30,000
Americans who want a constitutional government and love liberty, that we
all ought to move to one state, and some people suggest New Hampshire,
because the population is low, peaceably take over the legislature of
that state, and then negotiate with Congress to obey the United States
Constitution, and if necessary ...
HANNITY: To leave.
WILLIAMS: ... secede from the Union. Make a ...
HANNITY: Do you want ...
WILLIAMS: ... declaration of independence just as our founders did
HANNITY: Do you think -- do you foresee this happening? Do you
want it to happen?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think if the government gets more and more
abusive, see, and -- say, people like Alan Colmes, see, you know, well, for ...
COLMES: Here we go.
WILLIAMS: ... I don't -- I don't have anything against Socialism
and Communism, as long as the Socialists and Communists want to go over
there and do their own thing and leave me alone.
WILLIAMS: And I don't think that we should be fighting with each
other, because, you know, somebody like Alan Colmes, he wants to control
my life ...
COLMES: I'm a capitalist (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
HANNITY: But, Professor, we have massive redistribution, none of
which is justified under the Constitution.
WILLIAMS: That is legalized theft. I would not call it
redistribution. It's -- that's what a thief does.
HANNITY: You are a constant -- you are constitutionally, absolutely
correct. But I ...
HANNITY: ... but I worry for the country if states start seceding,
the Union is over.
WILLIAMS: Well, now, wait a minute. I think that there must be
some way we can force the Congress to obey the Constitution of the United
COLMES: Professor, ...
WILLIAMS: Right now, the Congress ignores the Constitution of the
United States. These people have contempt for the United States ...
COLMES: First of all, Professor, I'm a capitalist. I'm not a
Communist. I'm not a Socialist. Let's not get into name calling, the
pejorative use of those words.
WILLIAMS: No, I'm not ...
COLMES: Or the misuse of those words. I am a capitalist. I'm a
liberal capitalist, OK.
WILLIAMS: But, Alan, you want to control my life, don't you?
COLMES: No, I don't want nothing to do with your life, sir, with
all due respect, you can do whatever you want, OK?
I'm very libertarian in many ways, too.
Look, do you want -- when are you buying property in New Hampshire?
Are you looking at property now? You've had some real estate ads. Are
you getting ready to move there?
WILLIAMS: No, no. Well, the people have not decided which state we
should all move to yet.
COLMES: Well, OK. But are you planning -- is this something you
are going to do? You're planning to do this.
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, look. Although I don't look it, I'm 66
years old, and so it might be 30 years, and now ...
COLMES: And he looks great, I mean, you know, you look great for
All right. Now, this idea that we should secede because of
overreaching and not enough states rights, I would think then you would
be at the forefront of arguing that there's been executive branch power
grab since ...
WILLIAMS: That's right.
COLMES: ... September 11th. And we might agree ...
COLMES: ... on this, perhaps. They want to detain people without
telling them their rights, without a right to a lawyer. They have the
Patriot Act, where an FBI has expanded powers and can enter homes and
offices of citizens and non-citizens while they're not there.
WILLIAMS: Right, Alan ...
COLMES: Look at their computers. Are you with me on this?
WILLIAMS: I'm with you on it. But this is just the latest -- you
know, in the whole train of abuses.
COLMES: I agree.
WILLIAMS: But that's the latest.
COLMES: But I agree that those are abuses. And I'm happy to hear
that we have common ground here. Because I think that this government,
and this particular administration, has used September 11th as an excuse to
expand executive power that I believe ...
WILLIAMS: Well, ...
COLMES: ... is unconstitutional.
WILLIAMS: Well, wait a minute. I think that this is one of the
dangers of being on a war footing, whether it was World War II, whether
it was the Korean War, whether it was the Vietnam War, governments always grow during war, and they never go back to where they were before.
COLMES: But I would think that you would be against that, against
that growth of government, or that it would contradict everything you've
just said when you were talking to Sean.
WILLIAMS: Look, I am against the growth of government. Look, look,
I believe in the United States Constitution that gives the central
government very limited powers.
COLMES: So you should be at the forefront of those things I'm
saying about how the government should not be using war as an excuse for a power grab, and that our liberties, our civil liberties, now more than ever
WILLIAMS: Wait a minute.
COLMES: ... should be protected.
WILLIAMS: Wait a minute. That is -- what Bush has done is only a
tiny part of the general program.
You know, look, you know, in 1792, Congress appropriated $15,000 to
help some French refugees. James Madison, who is the father of the
Constitution, he stood on the floor irate and he says, I cannot lay my
finger on that article in the Constitution that allows Congress to spend
the money of their constituents for the purpose of benevolence.
HANNITY: We ...
WILLIAMS: Most of what the Congress spends money on is for the
purpose of benevolence, and that is unconstitutional.
HANNITY: And one that they should be involved in is national
Anyway, Professor, thank you for being with us. We love having you.
Thanks so much.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
HANNITY: And when we come back, is there an Enron cover-up? Are
Senate Democrats more interested in protecting their friends than finding
real answers? Why haven't they called up Robert Rubin? Congressman Mark
Foley, he wants to know. He'll tell us why.
And then, airport security has now reached an all-time low. In an
exclusive interview, a woman will join us, and she will tell us how she
was forced to drink her own breast milk before being allowed to board an
Unbelievable, next half hour. Straight ahead.