Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Return Powers to the States

Some on the Left are talking secession from the United States after the Trump victory. This is just talk. But we really should talk about allowing all the states to secede from the federal government's increasingly broad scope of power over our lives.

Yes, some Clinton backers are talking secession. But if the price of losing control of the presidency wasn't so high, people wouldn't react this way even if it is just talk.

If the Left can understand why the federal government has too much power when they see themselves on the losing side of that power equation when it comes to Trump, why can't they see that everyone can feel that way when the other side wins?

Good God, people, if you were effing crying after the election in your grief (and the Ann Arbor schools sent out an email about processing the horror of the election), isn't that enough evidence to you that our federal government has too much power? (Tips to Instapundit)

And if it is true that part of our problem is an over-supply of people who want to run or influence our government at the federal level (tip to Instapundit)--making their competition with each other more polarizing--wouldn't making service at the state level more important relative to the federal government entice more of these elites to seek service at the state level?

As the argument notes, the number of Congressional seats (and the president and vice president) are static in number so can't expand to accommodate the supply of  eager leaders. But we have fifty states with legislatures and executives. Maybe if these bodies had more authority rather than functioning more as an arm of the federal government's regulatory and spending tentacles, the supply and demand balance could be restored.

As I've said many times, the federal government is just too damn big for our own good.

UPDATE: Take heart if you are truly panicked at the thought of a Trump presidency. Despite the strengthening of the executive, the structure is built to constrain power if we will only use those powers:

The U.S. was born out of the most conservative revolution in history. The regime was designed to moderate ambitions by blocking them. Trump can achieve some of what he wants, while other issues will be left to Washington. But he can achieve those things only if those around him know where the bodies are buried and who buried them; in other words, Trump understands the knife fights in Washington. Having knife fights among his advisers is not a great start.

Liberals might be surprised to find that a lot of conservatives would back efforts to constrain the power of future President Trump if that constrains the power of those who follow him, too. Don't assume all of us are simply eager to use all that power for conservative policies as enthusiastically as liberals used that power for liberal policies.

Really, I'm thrilled Hillary Clinton is not president. She is corrupt and inept as a leader (even liberals have to admit the latter at least, given that Clinton was unable to defeat Trump (!) of all people).

But I am not thrilled that Trump won--really, can you truly say that I have been an enthusiastic Trump backer even as I fully understand his appeal to those ignored by coastal elites? Perhaps you think I'm a closet bigot somehow blowing dog whistles to baskets of deplorables everywhere that I'm with you! Good grief.

I too want the ability to constrain Trump where necessary even as I am sure that the Apocalypse-level panic over his policies that the left has been swirling around in is way over-blown.

Mind you, I'm in favor of the Republican-controlled Senate using the nuclear option in order to pass some things on majority vote, a method that departing minority leader Senator Reid recently boasted he would use in the new year with a Democratic president and Democratic Senate (oops), so Democrats know what that feels like.

But after a little score-settling, I'd sit down and negotiate a return to minority rights that were once enshrined in Senate tradition but which was torn down to pave the way for Obamacare. Really, even in areas where I may agree with Trump policies I do not want him to have the power of "being China for a day" to ram them through.

UPDATE: Google doesn't have all my posts. You might find this earlier one interesting. I even raised the possibility of voting for President Obama's reelection if our system of checks and balances worked out. I forgot about that one. I'm nothing if not consistent.