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The Topic of Federalism in the United States

Updated August 1, 2022
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The Topic of Federalism in the United States essay

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Federalism, or the separation of power between states and the federal government, is a central issue in modern politics. The jurisdictions of state versus the federal government was a central theme in the drafting of our nation’s constitution and protecting our citizens. In fact, our founding fathers originally believed that “republican politics” would constantly keep state lawmakers on the offensive, lashing out at the federal government whenever they could. What they could not foresee was the formation of political parties, which linked the governments together. The fatal flaw with our current federal system is that so much power has been granted to the federal government that state governments now are left with little to defend their people with. Without a strong check and balance system, any government can fall into the trap of fascism, and it is always the ordinary people who bear the brunt of the burden. The truth is, strong state governments keep citizens safe, for the same reason they have many advantages: the government is close to the people, and operates where they live. In regards to safety, no state government is going to be elected that will oppress its people.

When your chief source of federal power is far away from the people they supposedly represent, legislators are far more likely to take advantage and pass laws that they really shouldn’t for the simple reason that distance, time, and the shadowy back doors of lobbyists and congressional hearings protects them. State governments have a much harder time of getting away with this because their proximity limits what they can hide behind. If a legislator knows there is a good chance he will be caught, he’s much less likely to do anything shady or oppressive to his constituents. Furthermore, giving states the supreme jurisdiction in social matters is also the best way to go. Inevitably, when a national policy is made, many people are not happy with the decision. In fact, according to a pew research report, only 28 % of people agree with national government policy, as opposed to over 57% that agree with state governments. That’s a divide of 29 percentage points.. However, even just looking from a logical perspective, it makes sense that a state government would better reflect its citizens social wishes. The state government is much closer to the people, and rather than pass objective policies like the federal government, the state government allows for different ideas and characteristics of each state’s demographics to be enacted, thus creating a happier populace. Finally, giving states more freedom allows for their original purpose: laboratories for democracy.

As Michael Hartwell of the Young Hip Conservative says, “we can test a new policy or program on the state level and if it turns out poorly, it won’t harm the rest of the nation”. If states pass poor public policy, then it can be repealed at the state level. This is far easier than repealing policy at the federal level, as often times the wheels of federal “progress” are handicapped by bureaucracy and intense gridlock. Even if it does take time to repeal legislation at the state level, the negative effects are isolated and contained, much like quarantining a sick individual. Rather than afflict the whole nation, we can deal with problems and administer “cures” on a case by case basis. Once again, this brings us back to the original purpose of the constitution, and promotes healthy democracy, and provides the American Citizen with the government best suited to his or her needs. The federal government has grown too large. For years, it’s dictated its will to the the states from the top of capitol hill. The Columbia Law Review said it best,“ From 1936 to 1976 congress determined the allocation of governmental power without judicial interference”.

With party politics, self interest, and greed grinding away at our sovereign states it’s up to the American people and our local legislators to stand up to this Goliath. With the stone of truth and the sling of freedom, we can topple this giant and work to regain the promise our forefathers set forth on this continent. We don’t have to change our government, or re elect a president. What we need to do is read the tenth amendment. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Those are the words that make our system one of freedom instead of tyranny, and I urge you to remember them and remind others of them. Because those who do not remember the threat of tyranny receive a nasty surprise when it knocks on their door.

The Topic of Federalism in the United States essay

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The Topic of Federalism in the United States. (2022, Aug 01). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-topic-of-federalism-in-the-united-states/

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