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.