When the federal government is too powerful, our freedoms are put in jeopardy

Utah state representative Merrill Nelson delivered a powerful defense of Federalism and calling for a Convention of States to repair the damage that has been done to the Constitution. His op-ed on Deseret News is definitely worth a read. There’s one caveat we’d add to his conclusions, but let’s look at his post first.

Here’s an excerpt:

In short, unchecked growth of federal power — without a countervailing state power — restricts individual liberty and threatens tyranny. For example, without a state check on its power, the federal government may: 1) dictate school curriculum, testing, lunch menus and transgender use of bathrooms and locker rooms; 2) prohibit mining and burning of coal; 3) regulate ditches and canals as “waters of the U.S.”; 4) revoke accreditation of colleges whose standards are not “politically correct”; 5) force private religious employers to provide contraceptive services; 6) dictate overtime pay in private employment; 7) revoke tax-exemptions for nonconforming religious beliefs; 8) protect wildlife that damages property or threatens domestic livestock; 9) force one-size-fits-all health care plans; 10) limit use of public lands; and so forth. Unchecked federal power is not only oppressive, but a distant central government is less efficient, less responsive and more expensive.

What he posts is almost 100% correct. There are two things the Federalist Party differs on in regards to his conclusions. First, it is correct that national politicians will not take away their own power… at least the current ones. However, if we are able to promote honorbale Federalists into office with their stated goals from announcement of their campaign through their time in office as being to decrease the overreach of the federal government, we can build a groundswell of “good guys” in Congress and Senate who can lead the charge and begin dismantling the DC monstrosity. Second, a Convention of States can only work when two things are established: enough Federalism-minded state legislators to guide the proceedings and a plan that takes into account the pitfalls of any Amendments proposed.

For example, a Balanced Budget Amendment is only righteous if it includes caps on government taxation. As a stand-alone Amendment, forcing the federal government to spend only what it collects will yield some cost-savings, but it will also force an increase in taxation. They will not abandon their pet projects without a fight. When both the Democrats and Republicans have become addicted to spending, it’s clear that they won’t stop just because we take away their credit card. They’ll simply collect more money to account for spending.

Federalism is finally starting to make the comeback it has needed since Ronald Reagan left office. It’s wonderful to see so many politicians, journalists, and citizens starting to embrace the notion that we need a serious curtailing of DC powers. The timing for our party to emerge couldn’t have been better.

Image Credit: Deseret News