In a federalist government, authority is divided between the national government and other governmental units like states and local governments. Since its birth, the United States has trended toward an ever expanding federalist country, be it when Alexander Hamilton advocated a stronger federal government in 1788, Abraham Lincoln used force to prevent states from leaving the Union in 1861, Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the role of the federal government in the economy in the 1930s, and Lyndon B. Johnson introduced new welfare programs with his Great Society in 1964.
Federalism Marches On:
Today, the federal government is seeking increased domination of government in this country, as it is now regularly trampling on states’ rights and the rights of the individual. You saw this with ObamaCare, and the gay marriage ruling as the federal courts over-ruled state legislatures throughout the nation.
Unnoticed by many, the expansion of the federal government has been more pronounced in the financial markets and the economy. We no longer have free markets where buyers and sellers meet to determine a fair and free market price. For instance, no one in their right mind would lend money at 0.25% when inflation is running at 3% or 4%. It is a guaranteed loss. Yet, that has been the short-term interest rate for about 7 years now, because the Federal Reserve Bank has pushed rates that low. Interest rates are now controlled by the federal government lock, stock and barrel.
The Federal Reserve’s aim in driving down rates was to increase lending in order to boost both stock and real estate prices. By taking control of stock prices and real estate values, the Fed knew if it could boost both, people would feel wealthier and spend a higher percentage of their paycheck each week, thereby growing the economy. With each passing year the economy is less subject to the invisible hand of the business cycle, and more driven by federal government control.
Recent expansion of the federal government is alarming, but this is more so, and beyond anything federalists like Alexander Hamilton or LBJ ever advocated. Today’s federalism is what I call a New Federalism which aligns of the national government, national corporations, national organizations and the national media, all pushing a new national order, crushing the rights of states, localities and individuals beneath it. The aim is for this new national thought or way of doing things to dominate all facets of our everyday life in all states, counties and towns.
Mine sounds like a radical observation, but I’m not the first to point this out and the evidence to support the claim is limitless. Gay marriage was pushed by the federal government’s executive and judicial branches, plus organizations like the ACLU, more than 350 corporations like Apple and Amazon, and of course the national media. All worked against the states, which under the 10th amendment had the right to define marriage the way they wanted in their states.
The national media, cable news programs and the national entertainment industry is re-defining what is acceptable and unacceptable “free” speech.
The federal courts are lining up with national organization like the Freedom From Religion Foundation to tell local towns which holiday decorations they can put on their lawns.
National organizations like Planned Parenthood teamed up with first the Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade) and then the US Congress (tax dollar funding) to abort babies on a grand scale, subjugating individual rights and the rights of states to determine their own abortion policies.
The Congress, President and Supreme Court are imposing a one-size fits all healthcare system on the nation, at the expensive of private plans, individual choice and a once free and competitive medical insurance market.
Heck, the federal department of the EPA is telling individuals which light bulbs they should screw into their sockets.
Instead of having the police enforce this new national order like they did in the totalitarian countries like the USSR or Fascist states like in Italy in the 1920-30’s, New Federalists use the federal courts where they can, corporate policy and the national media, but quite often rely on the weaponization of words and symbols, political correctness, or the use of offense and victimization to punish those who oppose this new national order.
Look at Donald Trump. He said politically incorrect things and his words were shot back against him. And it was not only candidates running for federal office, but the national corporations, the national media and national groups like National Latino Evangelical Coalition, all condemning Trump for not going along with the agenda they all subscribe to. You can see the national government-corporate-media-group unity I've talked about in Trump’s case, and we would not have seen that 30 years ago. Again, it’s a new alliance of authority, all national, all aiming to expand federal control — a New Federalism.
Confederate Battle Flag:
One way to introduce and get the masses to adhere to a new order, is to first wipe out anything that competes with it. That’s often tradition, history and God. Read a bit about Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. Mao aimed to control China, but realized its people would never conform to his thought and new way of doing things, if they still clung on to traditions, history or God. So he started what was called the Cultural Revolution aimed to wipe out all traditions, God, and social norms. Once done, Mao handed out his own little Red Book with his new way of doing things.
New Federalists aim to impose their new national order throughout the country. They are having success in most areas, but the Deep South has been resistant; it is the last bastion of traditional American values, has a unique history it is clinging to, abides by a God fearing life, and still possesses an independent spirit once held by all Americans. All four of those things compete with this new national order, and hence must be wiped out. To that end all are being attacked by the national government, national media, national organizations and national corporations.
After the debate of the flag was restarted, it was purposely snowballed to all Confederate symbols and monuments in an effort to purge the South of its unique history that many still cling on to. They’ll be back because South Carolina was attacked for the same reason they regularly attack Fox News or talk radio. Defiant and stubborn holdouts to the new national order.
What has become clear is the Constitution is no longer looked upon as a contract between the states that created the federal government to act on behalf of the states when a unified response or solution is needed. Instead, the federal government along with other national entities have worn down constitutional restrictions and used the federal courts to stretch federal authority for their own benefit, subjugating the states and individuals who live in those states.
It kind of reminds me of the movie, “Frankenstein”. Dr. Frankenstein gave life to the man to serve him and the good of all. In the end, however, the tables were turned and the monster took control of his creator and ultimately killed him.
Our representatives we send to Congress will never reel in the federal government. They no longer represent the states they come from, but instead this national establishment of the national government, media, organizations and corporations that they are part of.
The solution lies in stronger leadership at the state level. State leaders must recognize what is going on, vocalize it, and then take action to modify the US Constitution.
The states created the federal government, and only the states will reel it in. Under Article V of the US Constitution, the legislatures in two-thirds of the states can call for a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. This must be done, and I suggest the following amendments be made to the contract between the states and the federal government.
The Articles of Confederation (1777 to 1789) had term limits for the representatives the states sent to the federal government. Term limits must be added to the US Constitution for Senators and House Reps. Similar to the Articles of Confederation, the states must be able to recall their Senators and House Reps at will.
Senate terms should be reduced to 4 years, in order to make them more responsive to the voters in their states.
Supreme Court justices will no longer serve life terms, but finite terms of 6 years, and justices will be term-limited as well.
The federal government is $18 trillion in debt and is $18 trillion bigger than it ever should have been. A balanced budget amendment must be added to the Constitution as well.
Those changes may be enough to re-balance state authority with federal authority. If not, Article V of the Constitution needs to be changed as well. One, it has to be easier for the states to amend the Constitution, and tighten up federal restrictions where they have been stretched by the courts. Two, maybe some mechanism needs to be added where states acting as a majority, would have the power to nullify a federal law it deemed unconstitutional or was beyond the federal government’s scope of the powers.
One example, let’s say a majority of states passed a law saying burning the American Flag was illegal. Let’s say the states were then sued and the Supreme Court ruled such laws were unconstitutional. A majority of states, if so desired, could add to the Constitution a flag burning ban, thereby making the ban constitutional. This can be done now through the constitutional amendment process in Article V, but frankly the amendment process is too difficult and lengthy and must be streamlined.
Rolling In Their Graves:
The Founding Fathers would have never created the federal government and signed on to the Constitution if they knew the Congress could pass bills, have the President sign them into law and the Supreme Court rubber stamp them when challenged, and the states had no significant check or counter-balance on this federal process.
In the late 1700’s to the mid-1800's, there was a notion states could nullify the federal laws they saw as beyond the scope of the federal governments authorities (Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions). Some believed the states had the authority to leave the union at any time. Those were two strong counter-balances that kept the federal government from running roughshod over the Constitution and the states. Both of those counter-balances are gone today. As a result states and the individuals living in those states have no leverage against an ever expanding federal government that with teach passing years is ignoring the restrictions within the Constitution more and more.
You may think some of my ideas are radical — amending the Constitution, mandating a balanced budget or nullification. That’s fine, but I think most can agree our federalist system of government is no longer working as designed, upon the basis of “we the people” and states' rights. Constitutional reforms must be made. The problem isn’t in who we elect, but a breakdown of the constitutional design.