The Beauty of Federalism

Last week, The New York Times ran an article that exemplifies the current Constitutional ignorance in the United States.

While the article was ostensibly about the “independent state legislature doctrine,” the subtitle grabbed my attention:

“Races in state legislatures are often quiet and turn on local issues like roads or schools. But a Supreme Court case could give these legislative bodies nearly absolute power over federal elections.”

You see, to the dope who wrote the piece, State and local elections should only be about things like roads and schools and not about anything else.

He worries that the States may have a real role in federal elections, something the founding generation insisted be part of the Constitution.

Granted, State and local governments should be worried about roads and schools–the general government should not–but the States have always been the foundation that holds the entire system together.

And they have all the power.

To this journalist, issues like “voting laws, abortion access, gun policy, public health, education and other issues dominating the lives of Americans” should really be handled by Congress, but since they are “deadlocked”, nothing gets done, meaning the States have to step in and fill the void.

Do you spot the problem?

We’ve imbued so much of the Lincoln myth, that if everything isn’t “nationalized” we think the system is broken when the reality is the opposite.

The States are righting the ship.

I have a dream that one day people will be thinking locally and acting locally so often that they won’t notice or care who is in Washington D.C., that is unless they keep shipping billions to other countries in “foreign aid.”

But you know what? If Congress and the general government were so constrained by the Constitution, they wouldn’t have the money to ship off nor would they be able to hide from their required duties by holding mock trials for political impact.

I thought this piece deserved an episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Subscribe to The Podcast

Comments are closed.