Isn’t it interesting that all of a sudden and miraculously progressive/statist/altruists are now advocates of state’s rights. It is finally dawning on their “collective” (pun intended) consciousness that they won’t be beating the Republican Party any time soon. What to do? What to do?
[Source: Liberals are learning to love states’ rights, by Charles Lane]
We are seeing a liberal “independence movement.” California, the frustrated “statist” state that provided the entire popular-vote margin for Hillary, wants to secede from the Union. In a New Republic manifesto, Kevin Baker goes beyond “Calexit” to advocate a “Bluexit” secession of all 20 states that voted “Clinton.”
I love hearing such insane notions from the liberals. It is proof positive they are beaten and do not know which way to turn! A national breakup along state lines is not going to happen. However, as I am more of a Federalist (footnote), I applaud any move toward states as sovereign policymaking entities.
Federalism has had its bad moments to be sure (e.g., John C. Calhoun). But the “good” of federalism is that, whenever appropriate, laws be made close to the people who will actually live under them. As well, there is an enormous benefit in state-by-state experimentation and even a certain amount of competition.
We see this being played out even today under the heavy hand of the federal government. Federal law says “no marijuana.” State laws say make your own choice. There is a federal minimum wage. Now 29 states have a higher minimum wage. Twenty-eight states have right-to-work laws. Do I like all of these? Not at all! I am opposed to minimum wage laws of any kind and very much favor right-to-work laws. (I’m neutral on marijuana.) But my personal preferences are moot, as I am not Emperor of the USA.
This is the benefit is federalism. For example, if 47 states legalize marijuana in the next decade, you will know that the federalism “experiment” of a few states convinced the vast majority of other states.
[Directly from the Lane article] America’s federalist constitution, by contrast, offers ways of channeling debates away from Washington — where the stakes are winner-take-all but the processes are deadlocked — into potentially more fluid and productive state channels.
Neither Blue America nor Red America really wants to break up. We just need to give each other some space.
Legal Definition of federalism: distribution of power in a federation between the central authority and the constituent units (as states) involving especially the allocation of significant lawmaking powers to those constituent units.