Keeping our representatives beholden to those they represent

The vast majority of responses to our stance on having individual “platforms” for every candidate and representative has been positive. People like the idea of a party that is willing to hold its own people accountable to the promises they make. With that said, there have been a few concerns that must be addressed.

By far, the biggest concern is that if there is no centralized direction from the national party, we could get an extremely diverse range of perspectives from representatives. As a national party our platform is quite simple. We believe in reining in the federal government by dramatically limiting budgets, bureaucracy, and power. We hold the rights that every American is born with as sacred; the Constitution defends those rights which means our representatives must defend the Constitution. Lastly, we believe in the sanctity of human life.

Based upon the simplicity of this platform, many assume there will be too much room for interpretation. We feel strongly that there will be just the right amount of room for degrees of flexibility, but interpretations will not be skewed by whimsy or creative reckoning. For example, limiting government is as straight-forward as it needs to be. We do not fear a Federalist representative misinterpreting this in a way that makes them act to the contrary. If a bill is on their desk that truly reins in overreach, they’ll be able to recognize that just as easily as anyone else in the party would. The beauty of Federalism is that it isn’t hard to apply even with a basic understanding. We expect the understanding of those representing us to be more than basic.

Here’s the key to our stance: every state, city, community, and individual is different. We all have different needs and priorities. Today, Washington DC has become too detached from the will of the people because our national representatives are compelled to work from a national level. That’s not to say they don’t listen to their constituents, but most are only truly listening around election time and only for the purpose of determining how to win votes. In between elections, they’re willfully insulated from the real world by the partisan politics and inherent corruption of Washington DC itself.

We need our representatives to make and keep promises to their people. In some cases, “their” people may very well be the entirety of the United States. The attempted debacle of an Obamacare repeal bill currently working its way to President Trump’s desk is an example of this. In most cases, the promises made and kept by our representatives in DC should be directly influenced by the people who voted for them. This is why it’s so important for the Federalist Party to hold them accountable for their promises in the form of a clearly outlined personal platform. If a Texas Congressman says he’s going to fight against natural gas regulations to free up businesses and employees in his state, we’ll hold him accountable to that promise. If a California Congresswoman pushes forward legislation to reduce protections for illegal immigrants, it’s because she made that vow to the people in her district. That’s how Federalism works. A Congressman in New Hampshire might not care about either of these promises and likely wouldn’t list them in his platform, but he would almost certainly vote for them since they fall in line with the overarching Federalist mentality.

This works at every level. Just as a state representative has to make some decisions for the state and others for the local district, so too does a city council member often have to make promises and take actions that work on multiple scales. This is the flexibility that we desire for the party. It’s not to make it harder for the party to unify as some have suggested. It’s to allow representatives to act based upon the needs of the people they represent.

For over a century, the nation has been creeping towards more centralization. At times, it’s been lurching towards Statism at an alarming pace. Today is such a time which is why the Federalist Party must rise. We have to push for localization in order to have true accountability. Only when our representatives are beholden to the people they represent will we be able to move the country back in the right direction.