Tag Archives: Federalism

Guy John: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- George Romney: On Americanism in 1992

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Source; Guy John

Source: Guy John: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- George Romney: On Americanism in 1992

In the first couple minutes of this interview George Romney sounds like someone from the Christian-Right arguing that the problem with America is our culture, lifestyle, way of life. That Americans weren’t living a moral life or to it bluntly what someone on the Christian-Right would call a Christian way of life. Americans having sex before they’re married, women giving birth out-of-wedlock And then he gets into another problem that he believed America having to do with too much poverty in our inner cities and not enough education for them and the country as a whole. The second part I agree with Governor Romney on.

This interview was done in 1992 and back then America had a large deficit and was just starting to get out of the recession that it was in in 1990-91. Not that different to where America was in 2009 especially in the summer and fall of 09. And he was arguing that the reason why Congress and the White House, couldn’t deal with the deficit was because of special interest groups and members of Congress not wanting to cut their own pork and spending for their districts and states in order to deal with the deficit. He was right about that back then and even more so 26 years later. Our campaign finance system is really a topic for another piece.

The last part having to do with the growth and size of the Federal Government, is really up Governor Romney’s ally being that he was a former Governor obviously ( Governor of Michigan ) and was also both a Progressive but a Federalist as well. He believed government could play a positive role in solving problems in the country, but when it came to economic and social problems that the best government was the closest government to the problems. And Governor Romney believed a lot of these Federal programs having to do with Welfare and poverty in general should be run by the states. Instead of the Federal Government trying to manage social welfare programs for the entire country and all fifty states.

As I mentioned before George Romney represents a Republican Party from another era. A Republican Party that was about problem solving and governing, instead of fighting political battles and trying to destroy Democrats, the Democratic Party, and trying to consolidate so much power with Republican Party. Romney represents a Republican Party that wasn’t interested in one’s religion or personal lifestyle, but the personal and professional qualifications of the people and would they be able to do a good job or not. Not if they’re Protestant or not, or what part of the country they’re from, what they think about sexuality and so-forth. Issues that the modern Republican is consumed by now instead of qualifications and public policy positions.

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Andrew Kaczynski: Governor George Romney- 1968 Presidential Announcement

Source: Andrew Kaczynski: Governor George Romney- 1968 Presidential Announcement

I love this George Romney speech because this is exactly what the Republican Party was once about at least, with a solid conservative-libertarian faction led by Senator Barry Goldwater and others. If this was the GOP today, I might be a Republican myself. And this coming from a JFK Liberal Democrat.

Just listen to this video of Governor Romney’s speech. He was talking about progressive solutions to real problems in America like Welfare and poverty, as well as fiscal situation in the country and the need for fiscal responsibility, but calling for progressive federalist solutions to these problems. He and Richard Nixon sound very similar on these issues because they were both part of that old progressive center-right wing of the Republican Party. Republicans who believed that progress could be made with government, but that it had to be limited and the states and localities had to be part of the solutions. Instead of setting up big Federal programs run by Big Government to serve every state especially the people who live in those states. Which was also a problem for Governor Romney because he and the GOP frontrunner Richard Nixon, sounded very similar on economic policy.

Governor Romney arguing for Welfare reform and federalism in 1968. President Richard Nixon in 1969 proposed Welfare reform and what he called a New Federalism. Which was about ( to use a Washington term ) block granting the New Deal and Great Society safety net and antipoverty programs over to the states and allowing for the states to run them. Which was the middle position between the George McGovern McGovermite Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party who believed that not only should the Federal Government continue to run these programs, but that they should be expanded and that new programs should be created on top of the New Deal and Great Society and that taxes should be raised on everyone to pay for them. And the Conservative Libertarians in the GOP led by Barry Goldwater, arguing that these programs shouldn’t exist at all.

The only real difference that George Romney had with Richard Nixon, had to do with the Vietnam War. Romney arguing that the war was a failure and that it was time for America to get out of it. And there just wasn’t enough Republican voters back then to line up and vote for Romney on that issue. If anything Republicans back then believed the war need to be fought better and that we should go harder in Vietnam. But George Romney represents the old Progressive-Federalist wing of the Republican Party along with Nelson Rockefeller who also ran for President in 1968, at a time when that faction of the party was starting to get smaller.

The Millennial Federalist: Federalist Coalition- An Awakening of Federalism

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If you want to know why the United States is a Federal Republic and you’re now an adult, well you missed that opportunity in high school during your social studies class. Perhaps you were too busy texting your classmate who sat right next to you to bother to take and learn social studies. If you’re currently in high school or about to enter high school, I’ll explain why we have a Federal Republic and very limited government. At least compared with the social democracies, theocratic and military dictatorships around the world.

If you think Uncle Sam is too greedy and paternalistic and takes too much of your money and personal decision-making away from you, join the club. You might have to join a waiting list and have a better chance of winning multiple state lotteries on the same day than being able to join this club anytime soon, because it has somewhere around 200 hundred-million members, not including the Socialists who complain everyday about not being taxed enough and going crazy about all the personal and economic decisions that they have to make every day, As well as the Christian-Theocrats and Christian-Nationalists in America who complain that America is too decentralized and because of that states and localities get to make decisions everyday that violates their religious and moral values.

But if you think Uncle Sam is too greedy and too fat, I’ll introduce to King George from the United Kingdom of Britain. Who was so fat because of all the money he took from the American Colonies that he would make Paris Hilton look like a foodaholic today. To be completely serious for a moment and perhaps even multiple moments, the reason why America is a Federal Republic, is because the men who would become our Founding Fathers Englishmen who escaped mainland Britain to come to what would become America later on, were tired of London telling them what to do and taking most of their money from them. Two-hundred and forty-one years later Britain is till a unitarian government where most of the governmental power in a country of almost sixty-five million people resides in London.

Our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals actually) wanted to break away from that unitarianism form of government. And create a country where the power would be decentralized. Where yes, their would be a Federal Government primarily responsible for national security, foreign policy, interstate law enforcement, interstate commerce, interstate transportation. But where the states could take care of the issues and make policies that affect their people in their states. Where localities could do the same thing. Where you wouldn’t have Washington with some Federal Superintendent of Education, telling Milwaukee, Boston, and other cities how to educate their kids. How to police their streets, how to regulate their local business’s , and other examples.

In a huge vast country of three-hundred and twenty-million people (get your brain wrapped around that number for a moment) a Federal Republic and federalism are the only way you could be able to keep a country this huge and diverse, with all of our racial, ethnic, cultural, and political diversity, together. Otherwise California, Florida, Texas, New York, perhaps all the states in New England together, would break away from Washington and form their own independent countries. Because Uncle Sam can’t mind his own damn business and is too greedy and paternalistic telling states and localities in many cases thousands of miles away, six-thousand or so in the case of Hawaii. We have a Federal Republic and are not a unitarian social democracy, or a religious theocracy, in order to keep the country together. And come together when its in our national interest.

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: Liberal States Rights

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Source: Real Time With Bill Maher

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Bill Maher is right about at least one thing that people on the Right including Conservatives, but people who are much further right than that and people who I call Neo-Confederates who believe that the wrong side won the American Civil War, who are Southern Nationalists, back in the day argued for what they call states rights. Which essentially means that the Southeast or Bible Belt knows what’s best for them and dem damn Yankees in Washington need to but the hell out and mind their own damn business.

Back in the day the Democratic Party controlled most of the power in the country. The thing was those the Democratic Party wasn’t really a progressive or conservative party.

They had a Far-Left people who would be called Socialists today the Henry Wallace wing of the party.

They had a progressive Center-Left with that Robert Kennedy represented.

They had a Center-Right that people like Lloyd Bentsen represented, who served in the Congress for a long time and was Mike Dukakis’s vice presidential nominee in 1988.

But the Democratic Party also had a Far-Right. Neo-Confederarate Southern Nationalists, who again believe the wrong side won the American Civil War and that if European-Americans especially Anglo-Protestants can’t treat African-Americans like slaves, they should at least be able to treat them like second-class citizens under law and not have to give them full-citizenship. Which is why we had a civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

I’m a what I at least call a liberal-federalist and as a true Liberal I’m not comfortable with large centralized authorities and establishments. One of the basic liberal values is decentralization of authority and spreading the power out and not comfortable with top-down management styles including from government. And that the basic role of the Federal Government is to protect the country from foreign invaders, as well as terrorists and criminals who operate in multiple states. As well as enforcing the U.S. Constitution.

That the states should be able to manage their own affairs as long as they are within the Constitution. Which means not having different laws, access and justice for different Americans. Which is why we have Federal civil rights laws. And most importantly that the power be with the people themselves so they can manage their own affairs as long as they aren’t hurting innocent people.

So if California wants strict environmental laws even if those laws give them high energy prices, those laws are their business. If Texas wants private school choice and use taxpayer dollars to subsidize secular private schools, thats their business. Just as long as California, Texas, and every other state in the union are within the Constitution. That they don’t pass laws that benefit one race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, over another. Or try to create their own military, currency, foreign policy, etc, anything else that would succeed their authority that should be handled by the Federal Government.

What Bill Maher was getting at with his impression of a Dixiecrat from back in the day, (Dixiecrat-right wing Southern Democrat) was sort of what I was talking about earlier that the Federal Government dem damn Yankees (as right wing Southerners would call people up North) should stay the hell out of the business of the Bible Belt states and let those states run their own affairs as they see fit. Even if that means having separate and unequal laws and access for European and African-Americans.

Now go up fifty years with the Republican Party which is now has a large faction for former Dixiecrats now Dixie Republicans and now has most of the governmental power in the country with the White House, complete control of Congress, 34 governorships and as solid majority of state legislatures. The Tea Party Nationalist wing of the Republican Party is no longer talking so much about federalism and states rights.

The Far-Right of the Republican Party with all of this power with controlling both the House, Senate, Justice Department, Supreme Court, now believe they can force every state and locality in the nation to govern like them. And force their political and cultural values on the rest of the country. States rights and federalism now to the Dixie wing of the Republican Party, means you can govern yourselves anyway you want, just as long as they approve of what you’re doing.

If California wants strict environmental laws, the Trump Administration will challenge those laws in court and saying California doesn’t have the authority to do this and environmental laws are for the Federal Government to decide. If Colorado wants legalize marijuana which they passed a few years ago, the Trump Administration will challenge that law in court and argue that marijuana is a Federal issue and not for the states to decide.

Sort of like someone arguing on the Right who is a Religious-Conservtaive who says they believe in individual freedom. But what they really believe in is that people should have the freedom to live the way that Religious Conservatives approve of. But not necessarily have the freedom to make their own decisions. Or someone on the Far-Left who claims to be Pro-Choice. But what they really believe in is that people should have the right to make choices that the Far-Left approves of.

Federalism or states rights, is exactly that. What good is freedom if you can’t make your own decisions? Just because the Federal Government doesn’t believe in environmental laws, private school choice, marijuana legalization, and I could go down the line and if I didn’t have a life maybe I would, but you get the idea, but just because the Feds might not believe in these things why should they be able to force their values on every other state in the nation.

The whole point of a Federal Republic is that when you have large diverse country which is what America certainly is what might work in one part of the country, might not be approved of or work in another part of the country. Which is why you have a Federal Government there to handle the national issues and leave the states and localities to deal with their state and local issues. Again, as long as all three levels of government are within their authority under the U.S. Constitution. Instead of Big Uncle Sammy getting to decide what everyone should think, how everyone should live, how everyone should govern, as if they’re some big over-paternalistic Communist or something.

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- New Rule: States Rights