There’s been years of reporting on how divided our country has become, and it’s so unnecessary.
We’re always going to have disagreements, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the source of our current divide is that people have lost the ability to disagree. We don’t know how to have debates, if not arguments, but realize that, in the end, we’re all on the same side.
We need a solution, and I’m confident I have one. This will remove all of the bitterness and resentment between liberals and conservatives. The answer to all that ails our society is right there in our Constitution: state’s rights.
We could, tomorrow, cut the hell out of the Federal government’s budget, do away with all the waste, give most of the money back to the states, but keep enough for national defense, highways, etc.
If we returned power to the states and made them more responsible for their own welfare and budget, we could solve our problems. With more power, each and every state could chart it’s own course and determine it’s own fate.
If a state wanted big government with universal healthcare for all of its residents, it could implement that. If a state wanted wild west lawlessness and little regulation, it could do that, too.
The point is if states had the rights they used to, each state would be run the way it’s residents wanted. If they wanted a state income tax, they could have one. If they wanted a sales tax, they could do that. If they wanted to privatize the police force, they could.
And people could live wherever they wanted. If they didn’t like the state they were in, they could move. If the states had more power, everyone would be happy.
The Founders of the country gave great thought and care to the power and importance of the State versus the Federal government. They knew that the rights of the individual are most important. So it was by design that like individuals could create towns and cities with their own ordinances and tenets. And those cities would be located in counties – a collection of which formed the state. And those 50 states make up the country.
The more localized you get, the more you will find a group of people with their own cultures, beliefs and traditions. How is it that Mormons tend to be located in Utah? The Midwest work day starts earlier than the West Coast work day. The South has a different accent than the North. New Yorkers are more blunt and direct while those in Seattle are more passive aggressive. People in Idaho are more conservative while those in Connecticut are far more liberal.
Each state is different, and that gives each area of the country its own personality and soul, while still maintaining loyalty to the country. On a political level, it also creates 50 different laboratories to experiment and tinker with social and economic policy.
When I was living in Wisconsin, Milwaukee was one of the first communities experimenting with school vouchers – a program in which inner city families could use tax money, in the form of a voucher, to help them pay to go to whatever school, private or public, that they thought was best for their child. This would foster competition among schools, as students would gravitate away from those that didn’t teach.
Some states come up with experiments that yield great results, and some not so much. But it’s important that they have the freedom to try. As the government expands its power in Washington, it continues to nationalize everything it can get its hands on. The government creates more social laws that apply to all people, and it takes more of everyone’s money to pay for those programs which used to be – and should be – the domain of the State.
The more the Federal government makes rules for all of us, the more we all get treated the same, the more our differences get ignored and fade away. We are becoming a one-size-fits-all nation where we all are subject to the same laws with an ever-expanding bureaucracy there to soullessly enforce them.
(We are supposed to be celebrating diversity, right?)
It used to be that state legislators elected each state’s two senators. This was so that the state congresses had a direct voice in what went on at the federal level. The two senators from each state were there to directly represent the state. This would also insulate them from the will of the nation’s people – instead beholden to only their own state’s people.
The 17th amendment changed this. Now senators are just as prone to populist pandering as any other politician, and the balance of power has shifted that much more toward the federal government.
A powerful and centralized federal government goes against everything the Constitution articulates and everything the founding fathers had in mind. It’s one step closer to a socialist approach to government, and that means America is one step closer to being just another country.