Do you believe in self-rule? Can people determine for themselves how to live and what kind of governmental system that they will live under?
Sure you do!
But are you sure?
Please, consider the following questions:
Should the federal government be involved in regulating marijuana?
Should the federal government be involved in regulating other drugs?
Should the federal government establish a central bank?
Should the federal government declare anyone an enemy combatant without due process?
Should the federal government regulate marriage: gay or straight?
Should the federal government take either the Pro-Choice or Pro-Life stance on abortions?
Should the federal government regulate guns?
Should the federal government interfere in the health care market?
Should the federal government interfere in education?
If you answered “Yes,” to any of these questions, then on some level you don’t believe in the concept of self-rule. Therefore, you are imposing your values or morals on others who might not share them.
Let’s say you live in Texas and oppose marijuana legalization. Do you have the moral authority force the Dutch to change their laws? The answer is clearly no. Then where you do get the moral authority to dictate marijuana laws in Colorado or Washington?
And Switzerland requires all adult males to have a rifle and bullets on hand. Should a liberal in New York, have the moral authority to force the Swiss to change their gun laws? Of course not! So, where people in other states find the moral authority to tell Texas what kind of gun laws it should have?
Clearly, neither party has such authority. These issues should be handled on the state level. Yet people on both sides of the aisle want to use the power of Washington D.C. to force their values on the whole U.S. Using Washington denies folks of self-rule.
Statists will argue self-rule will create too much chaos, and we need the federal government to standardize things between the states.
The Netherlands is a small country featuring a socialized health care system. The Dutch don’t depend on Europe to maintain it. If the Netherlands do it without a dictate from the EU, what stops liberal states like New York or California from creating a socialized system without a dictate from D.C.? Why force states that don’t want a one-sized fits all system to participate? Does the use of force further the concept of self-rule?
The next criticism that I usually endure is, “But, wait! We are all Americans, and Congress has the responsibility to determine outcomes on these issues and apply them to the nation as a whole?”
France’s government is an example of a national system with a strong central government located in its capital of Paris. It does have smaller units where are called provinces. These provinces have limited sovereignty answering to the central authority. But the Founders of the U.S. created a federal system with states maintaining their sovereignty over all things not delegated to the general government, which is limited and answers to the states. This is why we are called the United STATES of America and not the United PROVINCES of America.
The concept behind our government looks more like the European Union – sovereign political societies united for common purposes. But even the European Union enjoys more power than U.S. federal government. The U.S. Constitution with all its amendments comes in at roughly 7,200 words, while the Treaty of Lisbon (EU’s central document) features around 76,000 words.
The next question that is often asked, “What about the states abusing power?”
Of course they will! They are governments after all! However, we find a check on that. If issues like gay marriage, gun rights, state healthcare, or taxes are important, you always have the option of moving to a state that represents your own views. A system with generally autonomous states creates a “free market” of policies.” States will try things, mimic successful programs and toss aside the unsuccessful. And the people of a smaller political unit maintain more control over their own representatives then they do in a large centralized system.
But when the federal government passes an offensive act like the NDAA, what do you do and where can you go then? How important is gay marriage when that recently wedded gay man is being hauled off to Gitmo without due process?
Make the states themselves compete for your residency and your tax dollars. If we believe in this concept between McDonald’s and Burger King, why not allow competition between the states themselves? The more liberty minded the state, the more people will come to them generating more tax revenue. Or if the people really want a cradle-to-grave nanny state, people will flock to those areas.
At this point some progressives will call me “mad.”
If I suffer from insanity, what about this?
We currently live within a two-party system, each fighting for control. No matter which side wins, half the country will be angry. They know an agenda they don’t approve is heading their way. The party out of power will do all it can to undermine the party in power. Then, at some point, the party in power will betray their so-called principles. Then we’ll experience the really scary moments when both parties overwhelmingly agree on something horrendous. Can we say Patriot Act, TARP and the NDAA? Bipartisanship isn’t always good!
This whole process is insane!
Somehow these statists wants us to believe these non-corruptible, pure-hearted public servants will sacrifice much to serve their higher calling – to serve the public good.
And, I’m mad?
Wouldn’t it just be better to let states handle these matters for themselves, allowing the people more direct control over their destinies?
You know; self-rule.
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