In a recent article in The Atlantic, Emily Bazelon makes the claim that “states’ rights are for liberals”, citing the examples of state support for marriage equality and the legalization of marijuana as examples. Well, guess what, Emily. You’re right! States’ rights, or federalism, definitely is for liberals.
Of course, federalism is also for conservatives. And libertarians. And socialists. Federalism is really for anyone who doesn’t think that a group of central rulers are best-equipped to make decisions that affect the lives of 300 million people spread out over thousands of miles with differing priorities and values.
That the American left is realizing the value of federalism is a welcome change from the long-held misconception that a belief in decentralization was the exclusive calling card of conservatives (and for recognizing this we will even forgive Bazelon for continuing the left’s fascination with trying to link the principle of federalism with racial bigotry, which has been repeatedly refuted).Details