Another in Hayward’s long succession of brilliantly conceived, impeccably crafted, and truly insightful Twitter treatises.
There are many reasons why power should be devolved to the states, as Dobbs did with abortion. The obvious one is that individual voters have more influence over state legislatures. Your voice rings much louder in state capitols than in Washington.
Of course, the left-wing / globalist project for decades has been to centralize power, and then internationalize it, moving it utterly beyond the reach of voters. This was very much by design – they know federalism gives YOU more control, and they don’t like it one little bit.
Cause after cause beloved to the Left is portrayed as a “consensus” of “experts” that must be imposed on the people against their will, with no input from voters and no means for individuals to resist. They’re increasingly less shy about saying their agenda is beyond democracy.
Another positive feature of moving issues to state legislators is that they tend to gain clarity. D.C. is much worse about stuffing issues into titanic trillion-dollar spending bills. Rarely does the national Congress vote clearly on one thing.
The needs of individual states and their populations can be different. The consensus of their voters can be very different. A free republic of sovereign individuals shouldn’t have many one-size-fits-all, no-dissent-allowed solutions.
When power returns to the states, the people also gain the option of moving to different areas if they have severe issues with how a state is being run. They can merely travel to other states that allow what their home state has prohibited.
This is crucial, even if the number of people who actually decide to relocate is fairly small, because it is a manifestation of the one TRUE freedom, the only one that really matters in the end: the Power of No. The ability to say no, to refuse, is the fountain of all liberty.
Corruption is the horror plaguing the entire world. The corruption and waste in our federal system is absolutely sickening, and it’s permanent. There is no way to fix it without shifting power and money to the states, which can be monitored more closely and held more accountable.
You cannot “reform” a system that has trillions of dollars and millions of footsoldiers to protect every one of its corrupt fiefdoms, every nickel of its bloated agenda. There are no clean, big governments, and there never will be. The Leviathan has too many fangs and claws.
You cannot audit a system as titanic and broken as the federal government. It will never, ever be “transparent.” Among other things, it simply has too many people working for it, and far too many of them are utterly beyond the reach of voters. In no sense do they answer to YOU.
Lord knows state governments can have plenty of scandals, and some of them are Leviathans in their own right by any objective standard, but at least the people have a better chance of securing accountability – and if they give up on reforming a corrupt state, they can just leave.
One other great feature of federalism, perhaps its most subtle advantage: there are no tyrannical “settled issues.” Nothing is every really settled forever. The future is not held hostage to the past. Voters can change their minds, and change the law.
That is a HUGE advantage to the cause of freedom, a key aspect of sustaining that climate of persuasion that is so far superior to the corrupt business of demands and commands. Voters must be persuaded in perpetuity. Today’s law must be nourished and sustained tomorrow.
This will soon become clear in the matter of abortion, as states may tighten or loosen their restrictions as voters demand. No more phony “census” of ersatz “experts” chiseled in stone and used as a cudgel against generation after generation. Bad arguments will take a beating.
In a free republic, most of the laws should be written on paper, not carved in stone. The Constitution can be changed, but it’s not easy. That means not many issues should be “settled forever” with the permanence of the Bill of Rights. Permanence is power, to be used sparingly.
Everything I have said in this thread is the antithesis of leftist, statist, authoritarian ideology. They would howl that every single point I’ve raised is an offense against their sacred agenda, which must be imposed for the good of whatever they claim to care about.
“How can a government of wise experts be subjected to scrutiny by the proletariat? Why should brilliant social engineers have to explain themselves to the rubes over and over again? People moving to other states, saying no to our judgments – that’s absurd! THE EARTH IS ON FIRE!”
There is no better way to illuminate tyranny than to enumerate the virtues of a system that would make it impossible, and let the would-be tyrants tell you why that’s unthinkable.
Nothing to add from here, except for expressing my thanks to KT for taking the time and trouble to bust this excellent piece out of Twitter Format Prison confinement and compile it all as just plain old text, sparing me from having to do thirty friggin’ embeds, which is an acute pain in my ass.