This probably one of the hardest points to make for those interested in government reform, but if you want change, stay away from the Leviathan.
Unfortunately, that Siren sings a sweet song. It’s captivating. Every election cycle, someone interested in (supposedly) shrinking government mounts a campaign for federal office. Roy Moore provided the latest example.
Moore was a severely flawed candidate. That is why he lost. But losing did nothing to change the mess in D.C. Nor would anything have changed if Moore ended up in the win column. Had Moore won, the federal government would continue to grow in size, scope, and power. Moore may have even voted for some of it. See his positions on “national defense.”
Just look at Ron Paul’s career as another warning. Paul’s principled attack on the federal government did not net any lasting victory. The federal government was bigger and more oppressive than when he arrived in the swamp. He certainly had an impact in moving the idea of smaller government forward, but tangible successes were marginal at best.
This is why even he has shifted his focus away from the capitol and to the several statehouses. Think locally, act locally.
If you want to make an impact, run for state office and being the process of removing consent. For all of his faults, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is threatening to refuse federal infrastructure money in order to thumb his nose at the Trump administration. This has been incorrectly labeled as a “progressive agenda.” It is more accurately the constitutionally correct position. Federal infrastructure spending has always been unconstitutional. Just ask Jefferson, Madison, or Monroe for starters. Of course, de Blasio is not doing it as a constitutional purist. His motive is entirely political, but it’s a start. More state and local officials need to stop slopping at the federal trough.
That is where a “Roy Moore” type candidate would be exponentially more effective. Just say no to federal power. Dan Fisher is running this type of campaign in Oklahoma. He made one of the fumiest political ads in recent memory. Even if you don’t agree with him on the issues, his Oklahoma for Oklahomans model should be copied in every state, even by lefties who want more government. You can get it in your state, just leave the rest of us alone.
Brion McClanahan holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of South Carolina and a faculty member at Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom. He is the author or co-author of four books, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution, Forgotten Conservatives in American History (with Clyde Wilson), The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes (forthcoming, November 2012). Find him on Facebook and YouTube.