If you can’t beat them… well, take your ball and go home.

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.

Roy Filly


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.


About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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8 Responses to If you can’t beat them… well, take your ball and go home.

  1. Dick Toomey says:

    There is only one remedy to roll back the size, scope and jurisdiction of the Federal Government — Article V — which proclaims the sovereignty of the States. If the Convention of States fails eventually to convene, nothing will impede tyrannical overreach of all three branches — particularly the judiciary — as well as the “Fourth Branch” — the unelected bureaucracy that writes and creates laws and regulations. Trump’s finger isn’t big enough to fill the hole in the dike — and the entire Washington establishment (including media, lobby complex, every “NP” organization on the dole) is against him, including many in his own party — nobody in that town wants to turn over the money spigot. D

    • Starchild says:

      It doesn’t help that Donald Trump himself has given mixed signals about respecting the Constitution and state sovereignty. Also, his proposed budget *increases* the cost of the federal government.

      • Roy Filly says:

        Well. Wrong as usual.

      • Starchild says:

        Roy – Excuse me. I thought I recalled reading Trump had proposed a larger budget, but double-checking, it appears you are right that I was mistaken here, although I don’t accept the “as usual” charge – are there other instances in which you have evidence I was wrong?

        According to Nick Gillespie writing in Reason, Trump’s proposed budget doesn’t actually increase federal spending, but doesn’t shrink it either, keeping in place the massive spending increases that occurred under Bush and Obama:

        “…there were major, across-the-board increases pushed through during the Bush years and the early Obama years. As Mercatus Center economist and Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy has documented, spending ballooned by 53 percent in real terms under George W. Bush and has never gone down to anything like pre-9/11 totals. And we need to underscore that, on balance, Trump spends exactly as much as last year’s discretionary budget…. Despite offering significant reductions to parts of the federal budget, he hasn’t even submitted a plan that would reduce overall outlays after a decades-long spending spree that has purchased little but debt, deficits, and economic malaise.” [http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/16/trumps-budget-blueprint-is-decadent-and]

        Of course it would be nice to think that the Republican majority in Congress will reject the Trump budget and instead send him a proposal that would include some real cuts in overall spending, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Roy Filly says:

        We agree that our government is too big. As I have said too many times to count… Big government is bad government. It’s axiomatic. But Trump can’t erase 50 years of Democrat big government policies in 50 days. Check his results in 8 years.

      • Starchild says:

        I’m glad we can agree that *the U.S. government* is too big. I don’t consider it “my” government, and thus not “ours”. It’s a non-consensual relationship. I certainly hope you are right that Donald Trump intends to make deeper cuts during the rest of his term in office, but I’m not optimistic. U.S. presidents, like other politicians, typically get less radical over their terms in office, not more radical. If all that Trump is willing to do initially is hold the line on spending, we’ll probably be lucky if all is does is not get any worse, fiscally speaking.

        I don’t accept the argument that it’s politically impossible for Trump to do any more to cut spending. He can submit whatever budget to the House of Representatives he chooses. Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, promised spending cuts independently evaluated at $143 billion a year (see http://www.candidatecost.org/blog/libertarian-gary-johnson-would-cut-143-billion-in-spending). Johnson also said during the campaign that he would sign any spending cuts that Congress sent him.

        If Trump hadn’t proposed a $54 billion *increase* in military spending, his proposal still wouldn’t have been holding a candle to Gary Johnson’s in terms of cutting spending, but at least he would have been proposing actual cuts and not just cuts in the rate of growth.

  2. And what if a state decides to harbor illegal aliens, or legalize child molestation, or (God forbid) allow shariah law?! Will you still say we should let them do it?!

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