Years ago, when I was first dipping my toes into the world of political activism, Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Micheal Boldin told me, “Never call the 202 area code!”

I didn’t get it. If I was going to be a political activist, I was going to have to call Washington D.C., right?
Well, no. Not if I want to actually get anything done.

I didn’t get it then, but I sure do now.

Of course, Boldin was engaging in hyperbole. A little. Maybe.

But the truth is if we want to put the federal government back within its constitutional box, begging D.C. to get back inside isn’t a very effective strategy.

As I have often said in speeches, “Americans want Washington D.C. to solve all their problems. They need to realize Washington D.C. is the problem!”

I’ll give you a perfect example.

You may have seen the headlines about how the federal government is using driver’s license photos as a great big police lineup via facial recognition technology. I wrote about it HERE.

There was a lot of outrage about this revelation on Capitol Hill. And rightly so. The problem is we experienced this same revelation about three years ago. The same congresscritters were privy to this information then. They didn’t do anything about it.

The sad truth is they won’t do anything about it this time either.

Oh, some of them will use it to generate some soundbites that they can use in the next campaign when they want to convince you they care about your privacy. But Congress won’t do anything to end mass surveillance, protect your privacy and uphold the Fourth Amendment.

They never do.

In fact, Sen. Frank Church warned about mass surveillance and the NSA back in the 1970s. They’ve had more than four decades to do something.

I’m still waiting.

That’s why Michael Boldin told me never call the 202 area code.

It’s a waste of time.

That’s why we focus on state and local action. Make no mistake — these governments suck too. But they are generally more responsive to public pressure than the politicians in the D.C. swamp. We can drive change from the bottom up. And we do!

Mike Maharrey

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