The Cavalry Isn’t Coming from DC – States Need to Save Themselves

 

Obama brought us Obamacare, the Stimulus, and doubled the debt to $20 trillion. George W. Bush brought us the Wall Street bailout and interminable middle-eastern wars. Congress, alternately run by Democrats and Republicans over the past 16 years, approved all of these messes. And seeing how everyone in DC — politicians, press, lobbyists, and probably Uber drivers — have spent the past five months in an endless slap fight, we shouldn’t expect the Beltway to produce much of consequence for the foreseeable future.

How do we enact conservative change in this environment? The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation. But since that effort might be frowned upon, let’s just ignore the lot of them the best we can and focus closer to home.

The United States wasn’t designed to be run by some far-off mandarins in an imperial capital. Most day-to-day responsibilities were handed to each state, and most state responsibilities were handed to counties, cities and towns.

When people talk of checks and balances, they usually think of the White House, Congress and courts holding each other responsible. But the Founders also created a check and balance between Washington and the states. It’s on the state and local level where citizens make the largest impact.

The next few years will be a roller coaster. If a state wants to survive — let alone thrive — its leaders need to make the big decisions themselves. Each state needs to create its own success.

As I note in the article above, those of us lucky to live in places like Texas and Arizona have watched our leaders spend the last decade or two disentangling themselves from the big swamp. Instead of waiting for one-size-fits-all federal reforms, forward-thinking states are fixing unemployment, education, taxes, and cutting through mountains of red tape with a chainsaw.

If progressives don’t like the choices being made in their state, it’s much easier for them to replace local leaders with some who parrot their worldview. (Good luck with that, liberals.) No offense to our friends in New York and California, but I’m fine with their pols pushing womb-to-tomb governmental paternalism — if businesses and residents don’t like it, they can vote with their feet as tens of millions have already.

Of course, Americans could just cross their fingers and hope that Washington decides to get its collective act together in the next few weeks. But the far more realistic option is to accept that the cavalry isn’t coming. Let’s fix all that we can right now in our towns, counties, and statehouses. To paraphrase Gov. Rick Perry, let’s make Washington as inconsequential in our lives as possible.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: How do we enact conservative change in this environment? The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation.

    Build the Wall!!

    • #1
  2. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Based upon the commercials I am seeing in the VA governors race, and the stuff coming out of California, the toxicity is spilling over the bulkheads and the unsinkable ship is going to sink.  I don’t think the states can save themselves either.  Those institutions will get pulled down into the same nihilist hellscape as the feds are.

    • #2
  3. oleneo65 Coolidge
    oleneo65
    @oleneo65

    Preach on, brother!!

    • #3
  4. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    I think we’re too big for a democracy; maybe our country should regionalize.@guruforhire is right.  I’m afraid people who run for state office no longer focus on their states–and if they do try to secure their people and boundaries, the Courts will slap ’em down.

    I wrote  before: we’ve seen the courts hold that the fed govt can’t  coerce states to cooperate with fed immigration law.  Next step will be: the states can’t legislate about immigration either, not at all–that’s the job of the fed govt.  and presto: open borders!   No more nation, well just be a polyglot holding pen.

    • #4
  5. KC Mulville Inactive
    KC Mulville
    @KCMulville

    The usual method by which the federal government meddles/muddles in the states’ day to day affairs is regulations and lawsuits. We are in dire need of basic legal reform. Case in point: somebody has to address the “Dear Colleague” letter (scam) by which the Department of Education mandated federal policies on all schools, specifically bathroom policy. That’s a mafia-quality intimidation and ought to be stopped; some court should tell the DOE that its letter is nothing more than liberal lawyer intimidation and it must stop. Every other similar intimidation ought to be called for what it is, and stopped.

    • #5
  6. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Absolutely right.  It is the only solution.  Washington cannot fix itself any more than it can govern 300 plus millions of the most diverse complex nation in  history.  The notion is absurd.  Things actually take place in the States, cities and municipalities.   Washington exercises it’s control primarily through the money states are quick to grab.  Just don’t take the money and fix all the stuff progresses have rotted.  Some states, run by Democrats, or where progressives are so powerful that everybody competes in the same demagogic space may not be able to fix themselves, but others can and it will work, with  sound policies gaining traction  in purple states.    States can save money and grow their economies  by providing school choice, reducing muninciple controls, licensing, meddling,  reducing their welfare roles, adopting right to work,  ending minimum wages etc.   The thing is we know what works and we know what doesn’t work.  It would help states if there were some coordination coming out the the Republican Gov meetings.  A known strategy would also strengthen conservatives on the hill because there will be big battles over all the money the Federal government takes from the states.  States need as much back as they can get, but it must be their own money, not tied to anything other than their own tax payers.  These public choice dilemma’s  are the political leverage the centralizers use to corrupt everything they touch.

    • #6
  7. Melissa Praemonitus Member
    Melissa Praemonitus
    @6foot2inhighheels

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: But the Founders also created a check and balance between Washington and the states.

    Repeal the 17th Amendment.

    • #7
  8. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    The usual method by which the federal government meddles/muddles in the states’ day to day affairs is regulations and lawsuits. We are in dire need of basic legal reform. Case in point: somebody has to address the “Dear Colleague” letter (scam) by which the Department of Education mandated federal policies on all schools, specifically bathroom policy. That’s a mafia-quality intimidation and ought to be stopped; some court should tell the DOE that its letter is nothing more than liberal lawyer intimidation and it must stop. Every other similar intimidation ought to be called for what it is, and stopped.

    This underscores why such agencies should not exist to begin with.  Not only are they wasteful and ineffective, but they also are used by the beaurocracy to coercively force policy.

    • #8
  9. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    The usual method by which the federal government meddles/muddles in the states’ day to day affairs is regulations and lawsuits. We are in dire need of basic legal reform. Case in point: somebody has to address the “Dear Colleague” letter (scam) by which the Department of Education mandated federal policies on all schools, specifically bathroom policy. That’s a mafia-quality intimidation and ought to be stopped; some court should tell the DOE that its letter is nothing more than liberal lawyer intimidation and it must stop. Every other similar intimidation ought to be called for what it is, and stopped.

    This underscores why such agencies should not exist to begin with. Not only are they wasteful and ineffective, but they also are used by the beaurocracy to coercively force policy.

    Yes.  States can do tort reform on their own and address issues like standing and regulations not passed by Congress.  I’d like to hear from Epstein on what states could do to free themselves form some of the noxious federal meddling if they do not take money.

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    As suggested above, the trick, of course, is to keep the federal government from interfering while the states fix stuff. I’m not sure how you do that except through weakening and/or dismantling all the little federal agencies and the tyrannical bureaucrats embedded therein. As the great C.S. Lewis wrote:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

     

     

    • #10
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I’ve been saying for a few years that the governors need to have their own John Marshall Moment.  John Marshall declared that the Supreme Court had the power to interpret the Constitution, although it doesn’t give the Court that power anywhere in the Constitution.

    Fair enough.  All that “living Constitution” theory has a pedigree.

    But the Governors need to lay claim to the power to enforce the 9th and 10th Amendments, and possibly the rest of the Constitution itself, since the Court, along with the other two branches of the federal cabal, have done little to inhibit the growth of federal power over the states and the people.

    This is the only way, short of a horrible civil war, that we have of saving our freedoms at this point.

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: How do we enact conservative change in this environment? The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation.

    Build the Wall!!

    The solution is in the Constitution itself.  The Founders -especially Grorge Mason – anticipated that this day might arrive and provided ‘we the people’ with  the means to reign in an over-reaching, out of control central government.  We need an Article 5 Convention of the States.

    • #12
  13. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Based upon the commercials I am seeing in the VA governors race, and the stuff coming out of California, the toxicity is spilling over the bulkheads and the unsinkable ship is going to sink. I don’t think the states can save themselves either. Those institutions will get pulled down into the same nihilist hellscape as the feds are.

    Because of all the really suicidal stuff going on all around me, even I, a Californian, hope you’re right.  But I’m worried – the Democrat / liberal / socialist grip on this state is so pervasive, and the majority of voters are so propagandized, I’m hard pressed finding reason for hope.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think it will be difficult for the states to take back their power, although I think it’s an excellent idea. The problem is that so much of state funding comes from the feds that they have little freedom to do what they want. Unless entire federal departments are eliminated, such as education, the states will be enslaved to the federal government, who holds the purse strings.

    • #14
  15. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    • #15
  16. Randal H Member
    Randal H
    @RandalH

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: But the Founders also created a check and balance between Washington and the states.

    Repeal the 17th Amendment.

    Along with the 16th. How insane is it to let the federal government collect income taxes directly only to dole some remnant of it back to the states (usually for doing its will)? It should be the other way around. The federal government should have to come begging to the states for money. It’s at least one thing from the Articles of Confederation that should have been retained.

    • #16
  17. JLock Inactive
    JLock
    @CrazyHorse

    I like the hell out of this:

    “The best option is to build a doorless wall around DC; Washingtonians of every stripe can give each other swirlies while the rest of America gets about fixing the nation.”

    Gov. Perry does not get the credit he is due for Texas job growth helping national labor stats. That being said Abbott is tanking that growth, and the state in general.

    • #17
  18. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    The problem with this is that our biggest problems have been caused by the Federal government and, unfortunately, can only be solved by the Federal government. States can do very little to nothing about illegal immigration, the crushing national debt, high Federal taxes, Islamic terrorism or our declining military.

    • #18
  19. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:George W. Bush brought us the … interminable middle-eastern wars.

    What a stupid liberal revisionist history talking point!  (And I thought I was the one who sometimes read the alt-right stuff.)

    The wars were brought about by Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.  Barbara Lee was the only member of either house of Congress to vote against going to war “against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001.”  The majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress supported going to war against Iraq in 2002.

    President George H. W. Bush tried to show mercy against the Iraqi people, so the war was ended to prevent further loss of life.  No-fly zones and an oil-for-food program were enacted.

    Weren’t there about 3 1/2 times as many deaths in Afghanistan under Obama as compared to George W. Bush?  ~412 versus ~1451?

    Didn’t Mr. Nobel Peace Prize enact about 10 times as many drone strikes as President George W. Bush?  563 drone strikes versus 57 drone strikes?

    Maybe Bruce Herschensohn can do a Prager University video about the George W. Bush administration too…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hqYGHZCJwk

     

    • #19
  20. Randal H Member
    Randal H
    @RandalH

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):
    The problem with this is that our biggest problems have been caused by the Federal government and, unfortunately, can only be solved by the Federal government. States can do very little to nothing about illegal immigration, the crushing national debt, high Federal taxes, Islamic terrorism or our declining military.

    I think the issue is that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the Federal government is incapable of self-reform when it comes to the budget, particularly now that so much of the government apparatus is directed by a judicial oligarchy and bureaucrats of the administrative state. Congress is just along for the ride, considering the recent stories I’ve read that even the Republicans are balking at the proposed far-too-little-to-make-a-difference spending cuts currently on the table. If it’s not happening now, it won’t happen until we have a crisis, and I’m not sure even then.

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:George W. Bush brought us the … interminable middle-eastern wars.

    What a stupid liberal revisionist history talking point! (And I thought I was the one who sometimes read the alt-right stuff.)

    The wars were brought about by Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Barbara Lee was the only member of either house of Congress to vote against going to war “against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001.” The majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress supported going to war against Iraq in 2002.

    President George H. W. Bush tried to show mercy against the Iraqi people, so the war was ended to prevent further loss of life. No-fly zones and an oil-for-food program were enacted.

    Weren’t there about 3 1/2 times as many deaths in Afghanistan under Obama as compared to George W. Bush? ~412 versus ~1451?

    Didn’t Mr. Nobel Peace Prize enact about 10 times as many drone strikes as President George W. Bush? 563 drone strikes versus 57 drone strikes?

    Maybe Bruce Herschensohn can do a Prager University video about the George W. Bush administration too…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hqYGHZCJwk

    I cannot “like” this comment enough.

    Thank you.

    • #21
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:George W. Bush brought us the … interminable middle-eastern wars.

    What a stupid liberal revisionist history talking point! (And I thought I was the one who sometimes read the alt-right stuff.)

    The wars were brought about by Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Barbara Lee was the only member of either house of Congress to vote against going to war “against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001.” The majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress supported going to war against Iraq in 2002.

    President George H. W. Bush tried to show mercy against the Iraqi people, so the war was ended to prevent further loss of life. No-fly zones and an oil-for-food program were enacted.

    Weren’t there about 3 1/2 times as many deaths in Afghanistan under Obama as compared to George W. Bush? ~412 versus ~1451?

    Didn’t Mr. Nobel Peace Prize enact about 10 times as many drone strikes as President George W. Bush? 563 drone strikes versus 57 drone strikes?

    Maybe Bruce Herschensohn can do a Prager University video about the George W. Bush administration too…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hqYGHZCJwk

    I cannot “like” this comment enough.

    Thank you.

    agreed

    the war is “interminable” because we haven’t finished winning the war they started and continue to wage against us.  I’m sick of the lack of perspective inflicted on our society by anti-American and anti-western enemies.

    • #22
  23. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Think locally, act locally. Great piece.

    • #23

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