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Federalist future: Why we need it and how we get it

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America needs Federalism. No, we don’t need the common perception of 18th-century Federalism that is often misconstrued as a push for complete centralization of government. That would be statism and neither the original Federalist Party nor our current manifestation supports this notion. Today, we need the small-government Federalism that the founders (both Federalists and anti-Federalists alike) wanted – a system of proper checks and balances between the states and federal governments that empowers the people and protects them from oppression regardless of which government entity brings it forth.

On the surface, the reasons we need it are quite clear. Washington DC has been accumulating power since the 19th century with a major spike started by FDR that has been in a constant state of expansion ever since. The heart of the 10th Amendment has been ripped to shreds; the concept of enumerated powers for Congress has been shoved beyond the wayside and into a ditch.

It isn’t just the legislature. The judiciary has been redefining their scope and utilizing unsound logic to justify the politicization of their rulings. As a whole, they’re less interested in keeping laws within the boundaries of the Constitution and more interested in determining how they can supersede it. There is a minority of judges who do their job properly, but their numbers are dwindling. Activism from the bench is alive and thriving in today’s America.

Then, there’s the executive branch. The powers of the President have been expanding for a century and a half, but that’s not even the biggest problem. A layer of bureaucracy has grown so thick we could operate the nation entirely with unelected “officials.” This more than anything else has exploded the direct and indirect reach of the executive branch while establishing a self-perpetuating expansion of overreach. Moreover, it’s forcing citizens and private organizations to work within constraints that are neither Constitutional nor practical. This is where the bulk of corruption is bred and harvested. It’s a governmental pestilence that has spread to nearly every facet of Americans’ lives.

It’s when we dig below the surface that we see the most disturbing trend happening in this nation. The vast majority of Americans accept the overreach as a fact of life. In fact, there are many who live their lives in accordance with the government to the point of dysfunction if ever DC was brought back to a state that fell properly within Constitutional boundaries. Too many are so dependent on government that it would cause chaos if any of a plethora of programs were eliminated.

This is, of course, by design. The push for social and support programs has nothing to do with the actual long-term welfare of the nation or its people. The artificial dependence that has exploded in recent decades is a direct result of election-based mentality among our representatives. The bulk of politicians have learned they need to promise more in order to get in and give more in order to stay in. They’ve dismissed fiscal responsibility so thoroughly that budgets (all of which are already way too high) have become mere recommendations rather than actual cutoff points for spending.

We need Federalism on multiple levels. We need it understood by the people so we can all start taking responsibility for our own lives again. We need it embraced by our representatives in order to stop the fiscal death spiral we’re in. We need it supported by the electorate so the hard but necessary choices can be made; supporting promise-too-much-and-punt-the-consequences politicians can no longer be an option.

It’s daunting, but it can happen. Here’s how…

Building a Federalist future

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be going into more details about the plans in place to put the Federalist Party on the map. We’ve seen great successes and unfortunate setbacks since we launched at the beginning of the year. Thankfully, the former has outnumbered the latter.

Today, we have three major challenges: the understanding gap, suspension of disbelief, and magnification of our voice to the national stage. There will be more challenges that arise as we grow in prominence, but we’ll prepare for and tackle those as they come. In the meantime, it’s imperative that we all work towards facing the initial challenges.

I’ve covered the understanding gap in the past. We called it the “knowledge gap” before, but that’s not necessarily the best way to look at it. There are those who are fully knowledgeable about Federalism or who have read the Federalist Papers but who still perceive us as a centralized-government party. We are the opposite of what some perceive. We want to decentralize the bulk of government power that has been accumulating in DC for decades. At our core is a requirement to localize as many decisions as we can whenever it makes sense to do so (which is most of the time). The easiest way people can help is to share articles such as this one with friends, family, and on social media.

Suspension of disbelief has been and will continue to be a need. There are millions of Americans who are sick of the two-party system, who’ve grown disenchanted with their current party, but who cannot imagine supporting a third party because they feel it would be futile or even counterproductive. Our strategy of starting with local elections and working our way to the national stage is one of the biggest differences between us and every other third party that has made a play since the middle of the 19th century. It’s imperative that those who are tired of what the status quo has yielded for them can put aside their bias against third parties and give us their support.

Lastly, we must expand our voice. This will come in the form of talking to more people, going to more events, and getting interviewed by more journalists. We’re building a nice bench of people who will help to spread the Federalist message (more on that coming soon!) and we’re ready to get them on the airwaves and into publications. If you know (or are) a journalist, it’s time to talk to me, Joel Kurtinitis, Pat Nicklaus, or any of our early-adopters who are ready and willing to let the world know who we are and why we’re here.

America needs a government that sees the Constitution as its boundary as well as its guide. We don’t need them continuing to come up with creative ways to circumvent it. True small-government Federalism is the answer. It’s time to educate the people, rally the grassroots, and bring our nation’s representatives to an understanding that they cannot continue down they path they’re taking us.

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Immigration

Little if any progress as partial government shutdown looms

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Little if any progress as partial government shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight over President Donald Trump’s $5 billion wall funds has deepened, threatening a partial government shutdown in a standoff that has become increasingly common in Washington.

It wasn’t always like this, with Congress and the White House at a crisis over government funding. The House and Senate used to pass annual appropriation bills, and the president signed them into law. But in recent years the shutdown scenario has become so routine that it raises the question: Have shutdowns as a negotiating tool lost their punch?

Monday brought few signs of progress. A partial shutdown that could occur at midnight Friday risks disrupting government operations and leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay over the holiday season. Costs would be likely in the billions of dollars.

Trump was meeting with his team and getting regular updates, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump was also tweeting Monday to keep up the pressure.

Exiting a Senate Republican leadership meeting late Monday, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said, “It looks like it probably is going to have to build for a few days here before there’s a solution.”

The president is insisting on $5 billion for the wall along the southern border with Mexico, but he does not have the votes from the Republican-led Congress to support it. Democrats are offering to continue funding at current levels, $1.3 billion, not for the wall but for fencing and other border security.

It’s unclear how many House Republicans, with just a few weeks left in the majority before relinquishing power to House Democrats, will even show up midweek for possible votes. Speaker Paul Ryan’s office had no update. Many Republicans say it’s up to Trump and Democrats to cut a deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump talk most days, but the senator’s spokesman would not confirm if they spoke Monday about a plan. McConnell opened the chamber hoping for a “bipartisan collaborative spirit” that would enable Congress to finish its work.

“We need to make a substantial investment in the integrity of our border,” McConnell said. “And we need to close out the year’s appropriation process.”

Meanwhile more than 800,000 government workers are preparing for the uncertainty ahead.

The dispute could affect nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks and forests.

About half the workers would be forced to continue working without immediate pay. Others would be sent home. Congress often approves their pay retroactively, even if they were ordered to stay home.

“Our members are asking how they are supposed to pay for rent, food, and gas if they are required to work without a paycheck,” said a statement from J. David Cox, Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the large federal worker union. “The holiday season makes these inquiries especially heart-wrenching.”

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are already funded for the year and will continue to operate as usual, regardless of whether Congress and the president reach agreement this week.

Congress already approved funding this year for about 75 percent of the government’s discretionary account for the budget year that began Oct. 1.

The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, wouldn’t be affected by any government shutdown because it’s an independent agency.

Trump said last week he would be “proud” to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise to build a border wall.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico has refused.

Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, in a meeting last week at the White House, suggested keeping funding at its current level, $1.3 billion, for improved fencing. Trump had neither accepted nor rejected the Democrats’ offer, telling them he would take a look.

Schumer said Monday he had yet to hear from Trump. Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer warned that “going along with the Trump shutdown is a futile act” because House Democrats would quickly approve government funding in January.

“President Trump still doesn’t have a plan to keep the government open,” Schumer said Monday. “No treat or temper tantrum will get the president his wall.”

One option for lawmakers would be to provide stopgap funding for a few weeks, until the new Congress convenes Jan. 3, when Pelosi is poised to become House speaker.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who is in line to become the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, suggested a stopgap bill could be one way to resolve the issue or a longer-term bill that includes money for border security.

GOP leaders, though, were frustrated as the clock ticked away. Leaving the weekly leadership meeting, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said any planning was a “very closely held thing. That’s why we should never let this happen. We should pass the bills the way we’re supposed to pass them.”

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Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman in Washington contributed to this report.

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Entertainment and Sports

Missouri poacher ordered to repeatedly watch ‘Bambi’

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Missouri poacher ordered to repeatedly watch Bambi

OZARKS, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri poacher has been ordered to repeatedly watch the movie “Bambi” as part of his sentence in a scheme to illegally kill hundreds of deer.

David Berry Jr. was ordered to watch the Disney classic at least once a month during his year-long jail sentence in what conservation agents have called one of the largest deer poaching cases in state history, the Springfield News-Leader reports .

“The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,” said Don Trotter, the prosecuting attorney in Lawrence County.

Berry, his father, two brothers and another man who helped them had their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked temporarily or permanently. The men have paid a combined $51,000 in fines and court costs — but the judge ordered a special addition to Berry’s sentence for illegally taking wildlife.

Court records show he was ordered by Lawrence County Judge Robert George to “view the Walt Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter” while at the county jail.

Berry was also sentenced to 120 days in jail in nearby Barton County for a firearms probation violation.

His father, David Berry Sr., and his brother, Kyle Berry, were arrested in August after a nearly nine-month investigation that also involved cases in Kansas, Nebraska and Canada. The Missouri Department of Conservation said information from the investigation led to 14 Missouri residents facing more than 230 charges in 11 counties.

Investigators say David Berry Sr.’s other son, Eric Berry, was later caught with another person spotlighting deer, where poachers use light at night to make deer pause and easier to hunt.

The investigation into the Berrys began in late 2015, when the conservation agency received an anonymous tip about deer poaching in Lawrence County.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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Economy

Trump blaming Federal Reserve for recession created by his trade war

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Trump blaming Federal Reserve for recession created by his trade war

Wall Street had another very bad day yesterday. How bad? Well, the S&P 500 fell to its lowest level of the year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 500 points, bringing its two-day losses to more than 1,000 points after a bad day last Friday.

Actually, yesterday’s very bad day is only a snapshot of what is officially a very bad month for Wall Street and a very bad year for the S&P 500. The Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their worst December since the Great Depression in 1931, down approximately 7% so far for the month. And the S&P 500 is down over 4% for the year.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is holding its last policy meeting of the year and will likely be announcing an increase in interest rates tomorrow due to economic uncertainty surrounding Trump’s trade war and a shaky global financial market.

So, it should come as no surprise that Trump spent time on Twitter yesterday spreading fake news about the imaginary success of his economic policies while simultaneously criticizing the Feds for tomorrow’s likely interest rate increase.

Trump’s attack on the Feds is not new. When the stock market’s 2018 gains were wiped out in October, Trump blamed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, calling the man he appointed to the job “the biggest threat” to his success. He also issued a warning at that time that he might fire Powell.

I should note here that shortly after the 2016 election and before Powell was appointed, Federal Reserve officials were very concerned about Trump’s economic policies and how they would likely lead to inflation and higher interest rates. Maybe, instead of blaming the Feds for being right, Trump could admit he was wrong and end the trade war.

Yeah, like that’ll ever happen.

Trump’s “no inflation” claim is a complete fabrication; inflation has been steadily rising since Trump’s inauguration when it was around 1%.

The reality is that his trade war has been a primary driver of inflation and has grown to become the true “biggest threat” to the US economy. This threat so real that a majority of 134 business leaders recently surveyed — including executives from companies like Ford, Verizon, and Morgan Stanley — expect a recession to hit by the end of 2018. That’s two weeks, folks.

Meanwhile, Trump can’t really be bothered with the economy right now. He’s too busy tweeting threats against Saturday Night Live because they tell mean jokes about him.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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