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Federalists

Be careful about calling for more national election laws

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Be careful about calling for more national election laws

We’re starting to hear rumblings, mostly from Republicans, calling for national standardization of elections. It’s understandable that people are frustrated by what’s happening in Florida. Arizona and Georgia also have some questionable happenings. But it’s imperative as conservatives that we allow the states to fix the problems no matter how bad they may seem.

The biggest reason: the more the federal government gets involved in just about anything, the easier it will be for voter fraud, counting mishaps, and election official corruption to occur. Take, for example, calls ringing out again for national voter ID. Would it make it harder for non-citizens to vote? Perhaps. But it also runs the risk of catastrophic failure when we centralize and/or digitize the voting system itself. Not only will all of our eggs be in one basket that becomes a single point of failure, but it also slows the process of adjusting against threats. Sophisticated vote manipulators in or out of the country would love nothing more than a federalized voting system.

Taking away the states’ responsibility to administer their voting protocols takes away their accountability as well. Calls for centralization of nearly every other component of administration, from education to the environment to healthcare, has resulted in horrific results that greatly overshadowed the localized problems they were intended to fix.

Some states are having major problems with elections. These states must fix their problems. When the federal government gets involved in sweeping changes that force solutions for isolated cases on the rest of the country, more problems arise. The benefits are greatly outweighed by the detriments.

Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes is incompetent, corrupt, or both. She needs to be replaced and the voting process in Florida needs to be fixed. Let Broward County and Florida replace her and fix their voting process. It may be hard to have faith in the county and state, but do we really have more faith in Washington DC? Should we be calling for more centralized voting laws and protocols because of a few persons’ gross negligence?

No.

It’s frustrating when local officials can affect national elections, but that’s why people can vote them out and force reforms. Where it’s broken, let those states fix it. Bringing in a DC solution will give us DC results, and that’s almost never a good thing.

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Conservatism

Daniel Horowitz on the state of Republican politics

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Daniel Horowitz on the state of Republican politics

Are there really any red states left? That’s the question Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz asked when he heard Idaho was pushing a far-left progressive agenda in public schools. This is an important question because the leftist push in both bureaucracies as well as local government have made traditionally “red” states seem much less conservative than their voter base reflects.

Conservatism must be fought on three levels: by elected officials, through actions of the people, and by holding bureaucrats accountable. This last level is the hardest because state-level bureaucrats by nature are not accountable directly to the people in the form of elections. We didn’t pick them. They lord over us while only being accountable to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the states in which they serve.

As a result, the only viable solution is to hold our elected official accountable for their treatment of bureaucrats. Are they keeping them in line? Are they putting the right people in place? Someone can have conservative legislative credentials, but if they’re failing to keep bureaucrats from destroying their efforts, then their efforts were meaningless. Our government has multiple layers of federalism for a reason. The founders knew what could happen and did what they thought necessary to prevent it. But many of the doors they closed from the beginning are being reopened today.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Federalists

California’s ballot law is not federalism

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Californias ballot law is not federalism

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a provision requiring a candidate to release their tax returns in order to appear on California election ballots. This is obviously a direct attack against President Trump who has refused for four years to release his tax returns, citing that they are under audit.

Some are claiming this is California invoking limited-government federalism in which a state’s rights to govern as they see fit supersede the growing monstrosity of Washington DC’s consolidation of power. In almost every instance that reduces the power in DC and returns it to the state, city, and local governments and most importantly to the individual citizens of our nation, I’m all favor. But this isn’t one of those instances. It doesn’t pass one important litmus test of federalism for me, one that allows me to argue against sanctuary cities, state gun control laws, and other false attempts at instituting layers of government.

The litmus test is this: Does the actions of one political jurisdiction negatively affect others? In the case of sanctuary cities, the answer is clearly “yes.” By protecting criminal illegal immigrants but not confining them to the sanctuary city itself, they are imposing their own laws in ways that could negatively affect citizens in other cities.

The same holds true for California’s ballot law. Currently, there is a push for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between some states in which their electoral college votes will be allocated to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how voters in the individual states voted. The criteria to initiate this compact is achieving approval in enough states to surpass the 270-electoral-vote threshold.

If this picks up enough steam, and right now it’s getting very close to its goal, then the California ballot law would essentially determine that only a Democrat can possibly win the presidential election in 2020. California represents a huge chunk of the popular vote, something the founders feared and the reason they instituted the electoral college in the first place. As a nation, we cannot allow supremacy of the majority to oppress the minority. This is a basic tenet of our Constitution.

There are many other arguments that can be made against the California ballot law that demonstrate it suppresses the will of the people and subverts the Constitution. The White House can make those arguments. I just want to make sure there are no calls by federalists to defend it out of principle. This is not what federalism is all about. We desperately need to take back power from DC, but an attack on the Constitution is not the way to go about doing it.

Just as states that institute oppressive laws against gun owners or cities who institute sanctuary status are not properly abiding by the tenets of federalism, so too is California injecting supremacy over others with this unconstitutional law.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Federalists

Make an effort to learn and talk about local elections for 2020

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Make an effort to learn and talk about local elections for 2020

Presidential elections get all the attention. Even local news often focuses more on which presidential candidate the people support rather than Congressional, state, or local races. This is a big mistake and takes away from the true strength of American governance: a federalist approach to localization.

Lest we forget, it’s mayors, city council members, county sheriffs, and and other offices close to home that have the most dramatic on our lives. The President didn’t determine some cities should ban plastic bags. He didn’t raise the gas tax in your county. He isn’t selecting which teachers need to be promoted and which ones need to be transferred out. Those decisions, which affect us daily, are made by the men and women we elect to local offices.

Yes, most Americans can’t name their state legislator representing them. They aren’t aware of the initiatives being promoted by their city councils. But they probably know President Trump stepped into North Korea today or that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called migrant shelters “concentration camps.”

I’m not saying the national and international issues aren’t important. But if that’s getting most or all of our focus, who’s deciding whether that pothole in front of your house should be filled in? Do you know? You should.

This isn’t intended to scold people. The media puts so much emphasis on covering the President and the candidates chasing him that it’s natural for many Americans to think that’s what’s important to them from a governmental perspective. It’s time to remember how our government was formed and the emphasis the founding fathers put on localized government. They feared a national government that accumulated too much power, which is exactly where we are today with DC holding most of the cards and states fighting to have a say.

This coming election should not just be about the top of the ticket. We need to be aware of what’s happening at a local level and alert our friends and family of the same. Maybe then straws won’t get banned in more cities in 2021.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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