America The Free – Or Nanny State?
Our country was founded on principles of selfreliance, states rights, and limited government. But in the last 220 years it has evolved from the “land of the free” into a nanny state no different than those in the European Union.
What happened? States were supposed to have had all the power not directly granted to the federal government. Such things as highways, aviation, welfare, and schools were under state purview. But in each case the feds have confiscated power from the people and the Constitution has been circumvented.
The problem begins where Democrats believe Federalism means strong central government while most Republicans say it is weak central government, almost confederation.
Federalism is a political philosophy in which a group of members are bound together (Latin: foedus, covenant) with a governing representative head. The term federalism is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). Federalism is a system in which the power to govern is shared between national and state governments, creating what is often called a federation. Proponents are often called federalists.
In Europe, “federalist” is sometimes used to describe those who favor stronger federal government, at a national or supranational level, as is the case of the European Union. The term is also used to describe those who favor weaker provincial governments. In the federal nations of Europe (including Germany, Austria and Switzerland) or South America (including Argentina or Brazil), the term “strong federalism” labels situations where sub-national states may have more power than the national (federal) government; it does not imply a strong central government. Some nations with federal systems, such as Switzerland and Canada, are officially confederations, because membership in the federation is voluntary.
In Canada, federalism implies opposition sovereigntist movements (usually those of Quebec). The same is historically true in the United States. Advocates of a weaker federal government and stronger state governments are those that generally favor confederation, often related to early “anti-federalists” and later the Confederacy.
Australia, Brazil and India, among others, are also federal states.
Federalism may encompass as few as two or three internal divisions, as is the case in Belgium.
As Federalists, we conservatives want to keep decision making close to the people. We don’t like it when government establishes programs so that one rule applies for all local circumstances. Always keep powers and control as close to the people as possible. Is it possible that there are some issues that just aren’t Washington’s business? Yes, such as local highways, airports, poor people, and schoolchildren. The truth is, locals know more than the feds.
For example, Attorney General Janet Reno had no business going down to Wacco, Texas killing people because of their local religious practices. Just as Barak Obama has no business telling us (and China) how green our towns and state must be. We liken that to dictatorship.
States and cities can become dangerous bureaucracies, too. Bureaucracies seek to achieve uniformity by compelling people to conform to someone’s idea of what’s best. But have you noticed, private and local enterprises flourish by encouraging innovators, creative people, and self-starters with mind of their own? Then you get inventions, creative people and self-starters with minds of their own. The cookie cutter approach to life and government has been proven to fail because as the hack said of Professor Harold Hill in the movie Music Man, “he doesn’t know the territory.”
Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was heard to say prior to January 20th, what an opportunity this (the collapse of the financial markets) presents us. He said: “You never want to let a crisis go to waste. . .This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.” That was Rahm Emanuel addressing leaders at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. He ticked off areas where he thought new doors were opening: energy, health, education, tax policy, regulatory reforms, just the things an opportunistic activist Obama administration could feed on. All except for taxes are areas best left to states.
What he implied was that for Democrats and other “control freaks”, it meant they could grab some more power from the people, circumvent the Constitution some more. But me (sic) with my simple mind wonders, if those guys from Illinois are so smart, why is it that Illinois is experiencing so much corruption and disarray with scandals like Rezko, Ayres, Blogojevich, et al?
I believe federal involvement in our lives should be minimal. States and cities should take care of their own emergencies and not always look to Washington, which should be the last resort where other alternatives can be found. Democrats differ. They’re like bums on the street, always looking for a government hand out. They aren’t self-starters, innovative, and independent thinkers. This is why they were so vocal in their disgust with President George W. Bush when he didn’t immediately respond to Katrina. The then Democrat governor Kathlene Blanco and the New Orleans mayor were incompetent. Their inaction was reprehensible — they didn’t have a clue as to how to respond and protect lives of those in harms way. They had the resources – busses that should have transported people out of town were left parked in the city even after the storm ended. Contrast that with what a competent Republican governor did during Gustav, the last hurricane to hit New Orleans. Governor Bobby Jindal had it all planned out, ordered mandatory evacuation of the city and provided the busses and wherewithal to take his people to safe ground.
I believe that local solutions are the best solutions in all cases, but particularly in education, transportation, and welfare reform. Washington is no match for the speed, innovation, and creativity of private local people.