Author Topic: Federalism in the Trump era: Conservatives should commit to decentralization  (Read 168 times)

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Online corbe

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Federalism in the Trump era: Conservatives should commit to decentralization

By Ben Peterson,  July 14, 2017
Doctoral student, Texas A&M University


 
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Town institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to knowledge; they put it within the grasp of the people; they give them a taste of its peaceful practice and accustom them to its use. Without town institutions, a nation can pretend to have a free government, but it does not possess the spirit of liberty.

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

For at least the next year and a half, Republicans face the challenge of governance. The 2016 election put power in their hands at the national and state levels to a degree not seen since the Civil War. Most major U.S. cities, however, remain under Democratic leadership. The challenge of constructing a governing vision — highlighted by Yuval Levin — is especially acute for Republican leaders in states with liberal urban populations and representatives. Intergovernmental conflict has intensified in the Trump era, with city leadership calling for local control in policy areas ranging from bathroom privileges to immigration enforcement, and state governments attempting to curtail it. Ongoing attempts by Republican leaders to circumvent municipal control of local issues are misguided and likely to undermine the construction and implementation of a long-term governing vision.

Texas is a microcosm of the national situation. A red state in presidential elections since the late 1970s, Republicans reinforced their dominance of the executive branch and both legislative houses in the 2016 election. On the other hand, Democrats dominate in the major cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso and Austin. These and a few border municipalities have sued the state over Senate Bill 4, the recently passed anti-sanctuary city law. Gov. Greg Abbott recently called for a special session of the Legislature for this month, outlining an agenda that includes restrictions on city ordinances protecting transgender bathroom usage, requiring rollback elections on property taxes and removing tree-growth regulations on private land.

The governor’s actions and rhetoric have sparked a debate on the proper extent and meaning of local control. Texas Monthly writer R.G. Ratcliffe charged Abbott with waging a “war on local government.” As he noted, the Texas Municipal League released a statement arguing that Abbott’s proposed curtailments of local ordinances would stifle the ability of local governments to be responsive to their residents.   

Abbott is a prominent proponent of federalism. Under his leadership, Texas became the 11th state to pass a resolution calling for a convention of states to curtail federal power. Abbott and other Texas Republicans were rightly incensed at the federal “guidelines” for public school bathrooms imposed by the Obama Administration.

Abbott’s argument is that the state should guarantee individual liberties against local regulations so that business can prosper, rather than tolerating a “patchwork quilt” of local ordinances. At a meeting of Texas conservatives on March 21, Abbott argued against a “rifle-shot” approach to local regulations in favor of “an overriding [state] policy to create certain standards that must be met.” He argued for “a broad-based law by the state of Texas that says across the board, the state is going to pre-empt local regulations” that would “[provide] greater advance notice to businesses and to individuals that you’re going to have the certainty to run your lives.”

The Houston Chronicle’s editors pounced on the apparent contradiction in an op-ed criticizing the call for the special session:

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Gone are the days when the Republican Party of Texas could be counted on to defend local control. No longer do Texas conservatives believe that government closest to the people is the best kind of government. Instead we’ve witnessed the emergence of a political movement dedicated to stealing power away from local voters and moving it to Austin, where big money donors have created a one-stop shop to get what they want out of government.

In technical terms, federalism relates to the division of powers between the national and state governments, which historically retained broad powers under the 10th Amendment — a fact Abbott has pointed out. The American founders, including those who argued for a strong national government to remedy the ills of the Articles of Confederation, assumed states would be in charge of regulating most domestic affairs, with the national government presiding only over general interests. The Federalists were at pains to allay the Anti-Federalists’ fears on this score, as Publius illustrates in “Federalist #45”:

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The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.

<..SNIP..>

https://www.tribtalk.org/2017/07/14/federalism-in-the-trump-era-conservatives-should-commit-to-decentralization/?utm_content=social&utm_medium=@federalists_usa&utm_source=thenewamericana.com&utm_campaign=thefederalistparty.org


No government in the 6,000 years of modern mankind history has led its people into anything but the history books with a simple lesson, don’t let this happen to you.

Online INVAR

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Conservatives should commit to decentralization...

That will have to happen outside of and apart from the Republican Party.  The Republican party wants Statism as readily as the Democrats do.

It is why the Republican party is working so hard to make ObamaCare their own and tweak it so that the pain is less acute before they help bring Single Payer online.
“Fart for freedom, fart for liberty—and fart proudly.”  - Benjamin Franklin

“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”  - Alexander Hamilton

Offline Cripplecreek

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Can't get people to commit to decentralization at the same time they demand fealty to Trump.

People elect individual congressmen to represent a limited number of people in their districts (which is federalism at work) only to have them threatened with destruction if they oppose Trump in any way.

Nothing should make a man happier than knowing his government couldn't care less about him.
I'd rather lose defending the constitution than win at its expense.
Hitlers are born and die every day without notice. Its the morons who put them in power that are dangerous.
You don't escape guilt by declaring that you have no choice.
Lèse-majesté is my middle name

Online INVAR

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Can't get people to commit to decentralization at the same time they demand fealty to Trump.

People elect individual congressmen to represent a limited number of people in their districts (which is federalism at work) only to have them threatened with destruction if they oppose Trump in any way.

Nearly the whole people in this country look at the federal Beast as a god.  Until you change the minds of the people so that they are willing to risk liberty and desire self-sufficiency with total responsibility for themselves and community  - then decentralization as a concept is an impossibility, much less be able to achieve it.
“Fart for freedom, fart for liberty—and fart proudly.”  - Benjamin Franklin

“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”  - Alexander Hamilton

Online Sanguine

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Nearly the whole people in this country look at the federal Beast as a god.  Until you change the minds of the people so that they are willing to risk liberty and desire self-sufficiency with total responsibility for themselves and community  - then decentralization as a concept is an impossibility, much less be able to achieve it.

What Invar said.  I was going to point out that Trump is merely a symptom of the problem. 
There are no safe spaces in real life.   - LMAO

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See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

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