One of the most disappointing aspects of the way we’re handling this pandemic is our general disavowal of federalism.
The concept is that beyond the one, over-arching government body, there are multiple, smaller levels of government for each state, county, city, and town.
And those people closest to those areas are better equipped to govern those areas than the federal government.
Right now, we’re letting the federal government implement a one-size-fits-all approach to the entire country. But there are several problems.
What’s happening in New York is not happening in Montana. The measures that New York, and New York City, in particular, must take are much different than North Dakota or Wyoming.
New York City is a very condensed urban atmosphere with many international travelers, and a city government that largely advocated continuing to get together in public places well into March, while states like Montana have had time to prepare and are generally spread far apart across the state.
Also, while everyone is looking to the federal government for hospital and medical supplies, that responsibility lies with every local municipality, who is best equipped to prepare for any catastrophic situations that may arise.
President Trump is getting a fair amount of criticism by various state governors for not getting them the equipment they need. But Trump’s approach is completely consistent with our governing philosophy – they are responsible for their own state. The federal government can assist, but is not responsible.
While I’m guessing no municipality prepared for this scale of pandemic, I’m confident some did a better job than others. That’s why people get a chance to vote in or out the people who do well or don’t.
Local governments are also better positioned to determine the right course of action for their residents. Some areas of the country can fairly safely determine to what degree their businesses can stay open and how mobile their people can be.
And shouldn’t the residents have some say in this, anyway?
Most importantly, it seems to me that at least every state, if not county and city, has their own medical experts. Why is the entire country beholden to whatever Anthony Fauci says? There’s no such thing as the smartest person in any field. Most every field has a number of experts, and each one has their own experiences and perspectives.
Fauci is just one guy. Why isn’t there more representation from the different areas of the country? Why aren’t state medical experts leading their state’s charge? I’m confident there are medical professionals who disagree with some of what Fauci’s saying. Why don’t we get to hear them?
And why isn’t there more transparency into what kind of power Fauci has and why he’s deciding the things he is? There are many areas of the world having success with hydroxychloroquine and the Z-pak. I understand it hasn’t gone through the rigorous testing, but shouldn’t those infected have the choice, with knowledge of possible consequences, as to whether or not to use it?
When things are as life and death as we’re constantly told they are, who has time for the rigorous studies?
We’ve proven, over a few hundred years, that letting people govern themselves at the local level is the most powerful and productive way to govern society. How did we so easily cede our personal liberty and control to a few people? How did we give up our voice?
It’s too late to start teaching civics, as most schools aren’t even in session. But hopefully those old enough to have had civics classes in high school can remember the principles that made this country the exceptional country it is.