In Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address, he famously noted that “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” He was referring to the economic challenges that faced our nation, challenges that had become exacerbated by the continuous push by government to live beyond its means.
What is often missed is what the President said shortly after naming the problem.
“From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”
What Reagan recognized as a huge problem back then is manifesting in modern society. He was able to make great strides with the nation by waking up much of the citizenry to the importance of self-rule. Since his departure, we’ve seen a systematic expansion of government into our lives that has resulted in one truth: our freedoms are being chiseled away by the governing bodies in Washington DC who are supposed to be defending them.
Just as Reagan watched the Democratic Party leave him by pushing to far to the left, so too have small-government minded people watched the Republican Party leave us by migrating leftward for nearly three decades. We’ve reached a tipping point recently as the GOP openly abandons more and more freedoms they once defended.
With ever compromise brought into existence by their desire to avoid scrutiny, the GOP acts more like the Democrats they allegedly oppose.
With every cultural shift that attacks our freedoms for the sake of appeasement, the GOP justifies their actions as adherence to modern sensibilities.
Most of our leaders in Washington DC, regardless of which side of the Democratic-Republican flag they sit on, have lost touch with what freedom really means. They have either forgotten or willfully ignored the truths at the foundation of our Constitution. It wasn’t designed to grant us freedoms. As Americans, we’re born with them. The Constitution is specifically worded to defend our freedoms from government oppression itself.
Many seem to have missed that lesson. The result is our current circumstance of decadence where freedoms are being limited instead of being embraced. This is backwards. It’s government that needs to be limited. This is why now more than ever, it’s time for America to embrace Federalism.
A Better Way
We’ve all experienced hope and despair stemming from actions in DC. Just when it seems like some are starting to “get it,” the Democratic-Republican Establishment quickly snuffs out that hope by imposing itself deeper into areas where it simply doesn’t belong. From Reagan to the Tea Party to a 2016 election that presented us with Constitution-defending candidates, we’ve seen glimpses of potential for freedoms to once again take center stage in America’s government paradigm.
Invariably these glimpses have faded – some slowly, some quickly.
Invariably the force that prevents freedom-loving patriots from making sustained impacts isn’t coming from the self-defined left but from the alleged right. The Democrats openly attack freedoms, but it’s the Republican Establishment that strikes the death blow by quietly quashing those who hold self-governance and freedom in high regard.
Over and over again, GOP leadership strikes down anyone who wants to promote Federalism. Reagan embodied the ideals of Federalism as the best way to defend our freedoms and the GOP stopped him in 1976. They tried to stop him again in 1980. Even after he won, they continued to oppose his Federalist agenda throughout his terms in office.
The Tea Party made strides to get Federalism-minded conservatives into office. GOP leadership intentionally neglected to support many of them and even primaried some to get them out of the way. When a few made it into office, the Establishment went to work converting as many as they could to the ways of the status quo. Those they couldn’t convert were shunned by the very party they represented.
These realities are why the rise of the Federalist Party is so imperative for Americans’ freedoms. How long must we pretend that the GOP will come around? How many times must they do the opposite of what they promised during campaign season before freedom-loving patriots see through the lies in their sales pitches?
At the core of modern Federalism is one belief: the individual is the highest level of government. By bringing the nation back to a status of balance between the state and federal governments, every individual American has recourse against oppression by one or the other. Today, the federal government is vastly overpowered far beyond what the Constitution allows. One simply needs to read the 10th Amendment and know the enumerated powers to realize just how far we’ve gone off course.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Democratic-Republican Party has for decades demonstrated contempt for these constitutional precepts. This more than anything else is why we’re no longer willing to wait around for the Federalism-minded minority within the GOP to rise up. We’re taking Federalism to the people and asking those in other parties to join us. This can no longer be a secondary notion. It must rise to the forefront of our consciousness as a nation. We’re already making progress. Now, it’s time to bring more politicians, pundits, and patriotic Americans under our wing to make a real impact before it’s too late.