Whether you are a part of the trendy conservative sect currently or not, you have most certainly heard “states’ rights,” “Big Gov sucks” (Turning Point USATM), or something to this effect calling for a shrinking of the federal government.
But why do we want these things? Okay, yes, I am aware that the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the conclusion of the Bill of Rights, states that all powers not delegated to the national government or prohibited from the states outlined in the Constitution are left to the states. I frequently quote this alongside my fellow traditionalists. HOWEVER, there is a much, much more pressing reason for the pushback against Big Gov- not just because the Constitution says so.
The True basis for the anti-Big Gov movement lies within the foundational essence of government- its purpose, responsibility, and the role of the individual man with respect to such a governing body. There is a reason the Constitution explicitly protects localized governments and institutes protective measures against Big Gov.
We can see this epistemological presupposition toward localized government in the system of federalism. Yes, I also know that, for my newfound conservative readers, the nominal term of “federalism” may ring a bit too closely to “The ‘Dreaded’ Fed.” However, I regret to assert that the stigma against the establishment of “federal government” comes from a mutilation and convolution of the proper system of federalism so dear to our Founding Fathers.
In short, since the point of this article is not to explain what federalism is but why it is, I will include a short definition of the institution: federalism is a system comprised of separate but equal sovereign entities (in the case of the United States of America, these separate entities are- you guessed it- states) tied together by an established unifying body, the federal government.
Now, why did the Founders establish our nation as a manifestation of federalism? The answer lies in what it means to be an individual man. The Founders believed in localized government because it is A) most effective & B) it is the best system of governing to fully account for the inherent worth, power, and integrity of man.
Think about it, why would we let a giant, non-specific governing body that is unbelievably out-of-touch with its own people make decisions that affect our everyday lives? Why should Big Gov try to rush any feel-good, cookie-cutter legislation to regulate our schools, homes, healthcare, employment, shopping, food, etc. that comes across their desk? The Founders believed in a localized government to keep the establishment governing body both responsible and relatable. It was intended to keep the government directly accountable to the people and in-touch with the interests of those it represents. The purpose of federalism was to allow the localized government institute legislation to fit the specific needs of those they represent and to allow the federal government to act in a unifying, ominous manner for national defense and interstate legislation. THAT’S why the 10th Amendment exists.
The Founders believed- and frankly so do I- that man is capable of making moral decisions. No government needs to “legislate morality.” Communities can determine what government-run charity (in the form of taxes) ought to be for themselves. Communities can determine what form of education is best and in which manner to execute it. Communities comprised of individuals.
By forcibly seizing resources and using them for “charity” (taxes allocated to welfare programs), the federal government is saying to you: “You do not have the moral capabilities to give to the poor, so we must force you to do it.” This is the exact message of my last article “Why So Intolerant?”- the elitist nature of Leftist Big Gov. This elitism displays itself in the relationships of the federal government to states and the federal government to individuals.
Localized government is a threat to the Left’s politically correct ideology of universal intolerance and subjugation of the morally and intellectually inferior masses by the governing elite. We must fight back against this desecration of our Founders’ intended system of federalism, the preservation of individual power and integrity through empowered localized government.