Federalism or fascism?

At our founding, and more particularly at our Constitutional Convention, our Founders sought to create a system of government that at first could control the populace, and then control itself.  By analyzing past democracies, republics, and monarchies, and the writings of Plato, Cicero, Locke, Burke, and Montesquieu, they arrived at a republic (if we can keep it), with a strong national government to serve the interests of the many states but strong state and local governments to serve the interests of the local communities and citizens they served.

Over time, we've seen gradual, and in some instances dramatic, lurches toward a centralized national government.  A testament to this centralization is our $25-trillion national debt and the expansion of programs that were originally intended to be managed by the several states.  

Today, we see a stark distinction of what remains of our federalist system, between leftist (blue) states and more conservative (red) states.

Over the past several decades, we've seen the philosophical divergence between blue and red state governing ideologies, with blue states becoming more and more (and more) Progressive.  This past year, in particular, we've seen diametrically opposed handling of COVID-19 and the protests and riots that broke out, initially in response to the death of George Floyd.

With COVID, blue-state governors and mayors appeared gleeful in their newfound power to shut down just about every aspect of their economies and to implement ever more draconian limits on their citizens' personal liberties — at the same time permitting newfound privileges to those who sought to riot, pillage, and destroy what was left of their fragile communities.

There are huge costs to be borne by both these decisions.  This here is the genius of federalism.  Blue-state and blue-city citizens, in electing these representatives, would bear the burden of their electoral decisions.  Portland and Oregon residents would bear the cost of the decisions made by Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown.  New York City and New York State would bear the cost of the decisions made by Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo.  Los Angeles and California would bear the cost of decisions made by Eric Garcetti and Gavin Newsom.  Easy-peasy.

Not so fast.  With the 2020 elections for president and Congress looming less than two months away, there is no doubt that if (God help us) Joe Biden (or Kamala Harris) wins the presidency and Democrats claim the Senate, these blue-state expenses will be nationalized.  You (red-state voter) will be asked (forced) to pay for the profligacy and mismanagement of these blue-state representatives.

Wealthy and middle-class blue-state citizens are leaving these jurisdictions in droves.  It's been reported that 40% of New York tax revenues are borne by 1% of the state's wealthiest citizens.  Andrew Cuomo recently offered to make dinner for these wealthy citizens, if only they'd return from the Hamptons.  I'd imagine that wealthy people got wealthy not because they are stupid.

We will soon see either the continued genius of federalism and hopefully a wake-up call to blue-state voters or the end of our republic.

Elections have consequences.  Choose wisely, my friends.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

At our founding, and more particularly at our Constitutional Convention, our Founders sought to create a system of government that at first could control the populace, and then control itself.  By analyzing past democracies, republics, and monarchies, and the writings of Plato, Cicero, Locke, Burke, and Montesquieu, they arrived at a republic (if we can keep it), with a strong national government to serve the interests of the many states but strong state and local governments to serve the interests of the local communities and citizens they served.

Over time, we've seen gradual, and in some instances dramatic, lurches toward a centralized national government.  A testament to this centralization is our $25-trillion national debt and the expansion of programs that were originally intended to be managed by the several states.  

Today, we see a stark distinction of what remains of our federalist system, between leftist (blue) states and more conservative (red) states.

Over the past several decades, we've seen the philosophical divergence between blue and red state governing ideologies, with blue states becoming more and more (and more) Progressive.  This past year, in particular, we've seen diametrically opposed handling of COVID-19 and the protests and riots that broke out, initially in response to the death of George Floyd.

With COVID, blue-state governors and mayors appeared gleeful in their newfound power to shut down just about every aspect of their economies and to implement ever more draconian limits on their citizens' personal liberties — at the same time permitting newfound privileges to those who sought to riot, pillage, and destroy what was left of their fragile communities.

There are huge costs to be borne by both these decisions.  This here is the genius of federalism.  Blue-state and blue-city citizens, in electing these representatives, would bear the burden of their electoral decisions.  Portland and Oregon residents would bear the cost of the decisions made by Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown.  New York City and New York State would bear the cost of the decisions made by Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo.  Los Angeles and California would bear the cost of decisions made by Eric Garcetti and Gavin Newsom.  Easy-peasy.

Not so fast.  With the 2020 elections for president and Congress looming less than two months away, there is no doubt that if (God help us) Joe Biden (or Kamala Harris) wins the presidency and Democrats claim the Senate, these blue-state expenses will be nationalized.  You (red-state voter) will be asked (forced) to pay for the profligacy and mismanagement of these blue-state representatives.

Wealthy and middle-class blue-state citizens are leaving these jurisdictions in droves.  It's been reported that 40% of New York tax revenues are borne by 1% of the state's wealthiest citizens.  Andrew Cuomo recently offered to make dinner for these wealthy citizens, if only they'd return from the Hamptons.  I'd imagine that wealthy people got wealthy not because they are stupid.

We will soon see either the continued genius of federalism and hopefully a wake-up call to blue-state voters or the end of our republic.

Elections have consequences.  Choose wisely, my friends.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.