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It’s time to reclaim American federalism – CityNewss

By Matt Beienburg for RealClearPolicy

Those who are drunk on power in Washington, DC may want us to forget that the core of our republic is a radically simple idea: federalism. Now, maybe when we need it most, federalism is in trouble – but we can still get it back.

Federalism goes something like this, according to the 10th Amendment: “The powers that are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor are they thereby prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”

That is, except where the Constitution gives the green light to Washington, federal businesses and bureaucrats must strike out of our lives, for the rest of the powers of self-government belong to the people of every state.

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Federalism is based on a very simple idea: to concentrate power in a group of elites from one swampy city and enable them to give one-size-fits-all decrees to the rest of us is a recipe for tyranny. It is the idea that we – individuals, families and communities – know more about what is important in our lives and what works in our neighborhoods as a politician 3,000 miles away.

Federalism is the idea that we do not need to get 300 million people from California and Texas, Hawaii and Kansas to agree on the same approach to every issue. It’s the idea that if Oregon wants to mask – even outside and regardless of vaccination status – well, that’s their right. But those in Utah do not have to be subject to the same policies.

Federalism, in short, is one of the few ways left that we as a nation can get along with and promote real diversity in this country – that is, diversity of thought and opinion – rather than from top to bottom. to demand group thinking.

The most important thing at the moment is that federalism is something we must actively protect and promote. And we need to start by explaining what this means for the average American. Ask a non-political friend of yours or one of your children what federalism means. See if they have an idea that federalism does not mean relying on the federal government, but rather the opposite.

Share with them the fact that we have just seen one of the greatest success stories of federalism in our country’s history. It is proof that federalism is not an abstract political idea, but rather one of the most valuable tools in our everyday lives. The success story I’m talking about? School closures. Or maybe I should explain, the lack of it in certain states.

Remember when the so-called experts – the national teachers’ unions and the people who now run businesses in DC – all told us that it is too great a risk to let children go to school, that it is tantamount to murder teachers, and that COVID would explode in communities when schools reopen?

If they had their sense, every child in this country might still be staring at a computer screen today. And no matter how bad things got, no matter how much our children suffered academically or emotionally, the experts would have simply told us it was necessary, that there was no other choice.

But thanks to federalism, our states are still laboratories of democracy. When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the reopening of his state’s public schools at the beginning of last year, and when other states like Arizona subsequently gave schools a choice, they could prove group thinking was wrong.

These states put millions of children safely back in the classroom – even though other states like California have locked up 6 million students and stopped devastating learning losses as a minor nuisance in the service of “safety” and social justice.

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Of course, too many of our public schools – whether at a distance or in person – have completely abandoned their duty to teach civic knowledge and basic concepts such as federalism.

But all is not lost. For example, initiatives such as the Goldwater Institute’s Academic Transparency Model’s state legislation help empower parents to distinguish between schools that promote concepts such as Critical Race Theory and those that affirm the Constitution. And new online resources, such as the free Civic Literacy Curriculum, offer a range of lesson plans to teachers, students, and parents to rediscover the importance of traditional American principles such as federalism.

Respecting the rights and rich diversity of states is necessary to protect against federal government decisions that expose states’ unique needs and preferences.

Over the past two years, we have given many real-life examples of how federalism works for Americans. We must make sure that Americans take these lessons to heart if we are to preserve the vibrant power and spirit of these United States.

Matt Beienburg is the Director of Education Policy and the Director of the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy at the Goldwater Institute.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The opinions expressed by contributors and / or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.



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