Days of Change

Day 417 – The Federalist

December 26, 2009
1 Comment

We can get bogged down in the present. We talk about governmental involvement in certain industries and aspects of our lives. Political parties get blamed. Sometimes, new parties are proposed. The truth is that this ideological battle goes back to the founding of the Republic.

The argument is between Federalism and Anti-Federalism. Anti-Federalism has been beaten over the head since the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Under the Articles of Confederation, the central government could raise an army, but not raise the taxes to fund it. Instead of changing the Articles, the Constitution of the United States was written in secret. Back door deals are nothing new in Federalism.

Madison wrote in “The Federalist” of “the tyranny of factions” controlling the government instead of independent thought. Was he arguing against political parties or the rights of states to have differing opinions from the Federal Government? I have to wonder, knowing that the authors of the Constitution opposed the Bill of Rights that gave unenumerated rights to the states and the people.

Boiled down, Federalism promotes a strong central government and relegates the states to voting members. Our Federal government has the power to tax the states (and thanks to the 16th Amendment, the people) and therefore the ability to redistribute wealth. Federal law impacts our rights, but federal taxes impact our daily lives.

The power and scope of government is of greatest importance in a “political” debate. Our system of government made us the most free for the longest time. Under Federalism, however, the balance is shifted toward the center and the chances of being one Federal government ruled by 51% of opinion is increasing daily.

I plan to continue bringing up historical examples of how 18th and 19th century U.S. history mirrors the troubles we face today. The similarities of constituents, warfare and economics to today are amazing.


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