When we were first considering names for this party, there was really only one drawback to naming it the Federalist Party: educating the masses. Hopefully, most of you reading this are aware of some of the history surrounding federalism, in particular the modern day application of Reagan’s “new” federalism to reduce the power of the federal government and return powers to the states. Unfortunately, we’ve already received some comments and emails saying, “We won’t support you because we don’t support bigger federal government.”
The original Federalist Party fought for checks and balances to empower both the states and the federal government to have equal sway over each other. The reason they were called federalists is because their opposition, the Democratic-Republican Party, advocated keeping nearly all powers for the states while maintaining a token, subservient federal government. This might seem like a good idea today as we face a federal government that is overbearing on our lives, but let’s quickly examine what the Democratic-Republicans really wanted.
They wanted the militia of each individual state to reign supreme over any federal army. The didn’t want the federal government to possess a navy. They wanted the states to have primacy in foreign affairs, so if another nation wanted to establish a treaty, they would have to do so with each individual state rather than with the United States of America.
Most importantly, the Demcoratic-Republicans opposed the Constitution.
This is why the immortal Federalist Papers were written and why the original Federalist Party was formed. Times are different and we will not adopt all of the concepts that drove the original Federalist Party, but the core belief that the federal and state governments should share power to give the people the avenue to righteously dissent against oppression from one side or the other is sound. To do this today, our fight is not against those who want an imbalance in favor of the states. Today, we must reduce the size of the federal government by eliminating regulations, dramatically reducing federal spending, and reining in the powers that all three branches of the federal government have accumulated for the last century.
The Federalist Party is the greatest proponent of smaller federal government, which is why Presidents Nixon and Reagan advocated for the cause.
Here’s a brief, humorous, yet strangely informative video by Crash Course that breaks down federalism nicely. It doesn’t perfectly exemplify our beliefs, but it does a good job of giving an entertaining overview.