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Limiting government is really about localization

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Limiting government is really about localization

Everyone other than the most hardcore communist in America has experienced a negative run-in with overreaching government. There are laws that make no sense, regulations that make our jobs harder for no apparent reason, and unnecessary layers of bureaucracy that slow us down. Anyone who’s ever been to the DMV has probably experienced all three of these annoyances at once.

I believe in the tenets of limited government as they’ve been laid out in the Constitution. That means we embrace two different ways to limit government. The first is the easiest to understand. There are elements of our lives in which we should have a realistic expectation of complete non-interference from a governing body. A straightforward example of this is government-free internet. Very few Americans want the government telling us where we can go online. Most don’t even want the government knowing anything about our online activities. As long as we’re not breaking the law, it’s none of their business how many times we watch the baby panda sneezing video.

Limiting government from a Federalist perspective needs a bit more of an explanation. Our primary push to limit government can be best described as removing the federal government from various aspects of American life where it simply doesn’t belong. Starting around the turn of the 20th century and bolstered by actions taken by FDR, Washington DC has been in a state of continuous growth. They’ve reached into arenas they have no business being in as society gives into their overreach little by little.

Every new generation for over a century has seen a more powerful federal government than the generation prior. They take a little more and we accept it. They take a lot more, then some people object, then eventually we accept it. Young people growing in America today are being taught to rely on government for just about everything. This should terrify any cognizant American who can still remember when personal responsibility and self-governance actually meant something.

The reason we fight for limited government is because the ever-expanding federal government is the root cause for so many of the problems facing the nation. Health insurance is getting more and more expensive because government got involved. Cultural lines have been blurred because government has increased its reach into such areas. The public education system is yielding worse results despite massive funding at the national level because schools now look to DC for answers to just about everything.

To be a Federalist means to uphold the Constitutional barriers set forth by our founders. They restrained the national government specifically to prevent the overreach we’re seeing today. We have to learn what they knew all too well over two centuries ago. Then, we need to take that message to the masses.

One of the primary concepts I push for is localization. This means reminding people that the top level of government isn’t on Capitol Hill, the White House, or the Supreme Court. The top level of government is in our own homes. Individuals and families are at the top of the government hierarchy… at least we should be. What the individual and the family cannot handle should fall to the community. Issues that have broader scope should work their way down the line to the city, county, state, and lastly to the national level. The federal government should be the last line of defense, not the tip of the spear as it is today.

The time is now to draw the line in the sand and say, “No more.” We have to halt the expansion of Washington DC’s power. Then, we have to push back until the federal government is back in its limited box.

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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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