While I was away, I had plenty of time to think about federalism. One interesting note is that I did this without having the lens of current events in the way. I was completely away from pretty much all forms of news; if it wasn’t big enough to be talked about by family, I probably missed it.
One of the interesting side-effects of living like this is that my sometimes-random, sometimes-focused thoughts pertaining to federalism were geared towards historical and theoretical federalism. I wasn’t contemplating how a federalist should view Obamacare or gun control. Instead, I was able to apply proper federalist principles to a general perspective. Think of it as a 30,000-foot view.
There were some interesting conclusions and even more interesting questions I’ll go into in the future, but the biggest takeaway is that federalism can only work in modern America if we’re able to get a proper foothold. We’re on a slippery slope with a left-right, liberal-conservative dichotomy that currently holds the nation’s ideologies hostage. Most conservatives believe that federalism applies only to their ideas while most liberals believe federalism is a convenient tool to invoke only when they’re not in power.
The reality is that federalism has very little to do with right versus left, at least as it pertains to decision-making. Let’s look at a basic way to apply federalism generally. Hopefully then we can understand the challenges that can prevent us from finding our foothold. This is not meant to be a scholarly or philosophical look at federalism. It’s just a quick view to set the stage for finding solutions.
The federalist lens
I’ve written in the past that the roots of federalism were based on sharing powers, not making the national government more powerful. In the 18th century, states held the lion’s share of government power so it was necessary for early federalists to push for a stronger central government. Today, the power has shifted unnaturally to favor DC, so a true federalist will embrace taking power away from the central government and distributing it to states, counties, cities, communities, and most importantly to individuals and their families.
With that understood, let’s look at why federalism does not fall within the left-right paradigm that exists in America today. There’s no need to show examples of conservatism championed by federalism because conservatives have generally embraced most tenets of federalism whether they know it or not. However, there are many examples of how leftist ideas also invoke federalism and rightfully so.
One easy example is New York politicians’ desire to give “free education to all.” While conservatives will naturally ask the question of how expensive this “free” idea will become, many are calling on DC to figure out ways to block the attempt altogether. This is 100% against federalist tenets and should not be acceptable. If New York wants to go down that road, it is not DC’s job to stop them. One of the beauties of federalism applied to 50 states is that they should be free to attempt whatever programs their residents desire. If it fails, it is a lesson for other states. If it succeeds, it’s a model upon which others can embrace or improve.
Experimentation allows the states to be like governmental labs. This is a good thing. It applies all the way down (or up, depending on your point of view). Cities should be free to adopt just about anything that does not hinder others. This is a key point because the fear of a free-for-all in governance makes liberals and conservatives alike cringe. Are sanctuary cities acceptable in a federalist model? No. Unless a sanctuary city is able to contain the suspects and criminals they set free, their actions against federal cooperation are not true federalism. Cities cannot be allowed to harm their neighbors based on their actions (or lack of actions). Sanctuary cities are perversions of federalism.
Steps toward federalism
While I get back into the swing of things, there are still many questions I need to answer. One is where the Federalist Party stands, or more specifically where I stand within the Federalist Party itself. Just as with my friends here at NOQ Report who carried on in my absence, I know there were many who continued to build the groundswell for the Federalist Party. Where the party and I stand will be an important piece of information I’ll need before knowing how to proceed.
One thing that does not require any additional information is the realization I came to while on hiatus. For federalism to succeed in America and truly gain a foothold, it MUST be understood. I’m a firm believer that 70% or more of the American population would embrace the tenets of federalism if they understood it properly. Just as a right-leaning gun advocate can be shown how true reciprocity can only be accomplished between states instead of by decree in DC, so too can left-leaning environmentalist can be shown the benefits of localizing environmental protection rather than sinking money into the EPA or (gulp) the Paris accords.
In my downtime, I concluded that a population that does not understand federalism cannot properly embrace it. Conversely, bringing true federalism to light can and will help it gain more supporters because it simply makes sense. Going forward, that will be one of the most important roles I play in the outside world. Championing federalism is the best thing I can do in American politics. It won’t be easy, but if we’re to continue to prosper as a nation, we must wrest power away from DC and back into the hands of the people.
ICE gets media beating for taking illegal immigrant into custody over Mexican homicide warrant
It’s the type of story the media craves. An illegal immigrant, Joel Arrona-Lara, who “hasn’t done anything wrong” was detained by ICE agents while transporting his pregnant wife to the hospital. She ended up having to drive herself the rest of the way before delivering their son.
The spin is predictable. They skim over the fact that he has an arrest warrant in Mexico for homicide while putting all the focus on his wife’s dilemma. They even attempt to cast doubt on the warrant because the lawyer for the family says he couldn’t find a record of the warrant. This last part is most peculiar because it would be simple for a major media outlet to confirm the existence of the warrant. They did, of course, but they won’t report that when they have a better quote from the lawyer denying its existence.
Eventually details will emerge about the warrant, but not until the media inflicts as much damage as possible on ICE and anyone in favor of legal immigration being the proper way to enter the country.
Here’s the story. If you click through, you’ll even get a link at the bottom to the family’s new GoFundMe page:
Her husband Joel Arrona-Lara was driving his wife to the hospital for a scheduled Cesarean section Wednesday afternoon when they had to stop to get gas. That’s when their car was approached by two SUVs. Maria said they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The mother of five was then asked to show her identification and complied. When the agents asked Arrona-Lara, the couple said he didn’t have the ID on him, but that they lived nearby and could go get it for them. The agents then asked Arrona-Lara to exit the vehicle, searched the car for weapons, and put Arrona into custody, leaving Maria alone at the gas station.
There’s no doubt the circumstances surrounding all of this are unfortunate. Pregnant wives should not have to drive themselves to the hospital for a scheduled C-section. On the other hand, suspected murderers shouldn’t be entering the country in the first place. That point won’t be mentioned by mainstream media.
ICE has a responsibility to take people like Arrona-Lara into custody so it can be determined whether or not they should be deported. There may have even been a certain degree of leeway given had there been no records other than his status as an illegal immigrant, but being a suspected murderer with an arrest warrant took away any chance at leeway. The ICE agents did the right thing.
As a legal immigrant, I have no sympathy for those who cheat the system and break our laws. Blaming the ICE agents for doing their job correctly in order to keep us safe is the type of insanity mainstream media loves to sell us.
The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press
For at least the second time, reporters were barred from covering an event featuring Socialist Democratic darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The campaign’s reason: we want attendees to feel comfortable since there’s so much national press covering her.
This is an absolutely ridiculous excuse, of course. Nobody goes to a campaign event without knowing the press will (should) be there. It doesn’t make them less comfortable and may actually give some a sense of security knowing the answers to their questions will be judged by more than the audience at hand. That’s one of the reasons for the press in the first place, to give information about an event to people who cannot attend.
Instead, the press is getting another roadblock:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist star running for New York’s 14th congressional district, is facing criticism after her campaign banned journalists from covering a town hall meeting with voters this week.
The Queens Chronicle, a local news outlet, reported that the campaign for the 28-year-old progressive prevented reporters from attending a campaign event in Corona on Sunday, even though it was open to the rest of the public. The campaign reportedly barred reporters from a prior event as well.
It’s conspicuous that a local publication was barred because it runs contrary to the narrative the campaign is trying to sell. So why is she being hidden from reporters at these types of events?
It’s clear that her exposure is her best friend and worst enemy. Being talked about is a politician’s best friend on the campaign trail, but it also offers a risk of failure. This is most common in events like the town hall meetings she is holding because she’ll be forced to think on her feet.
What if she can’t think on her feet? What if her answers when placed in an unscripted situation the type of answers many would expect from an inexperienced socialist?
Until she’s ready to handle the pressure of having press cover these events, she won’t be ready to hold public office at this level. The House of Representatives isn’t for people who need to be protected from their own answers.
Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible
One of my biggest pet peeves is the attempt by atheists to use “science” to disprove the Bible. It’s unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which being Pascal’s Wager, but the strangest part is how much of science must be ignored in order to make the claim a Biblical worldview runs counter to modern science.
Some may object to this topic being part of mostly political news site, but it’s been more widely covered in recent years by liberal sites attempting to paint the Biblical worldview in a negative light, so it’s good to give equal time to the counterarguments.
There are better videos than Ken Ham’s discussion on the topic, but few are more easily understood. It’s well worth the hour.