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Home Main Forums General Discussion Liberals are reconsidering federalism in the wake of Trump

  • WillyT (10724 posts)
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    Liberals are reconsidering federalism in the wake of Trump

    Liberals are reconsidering federalism in the wake of Trump



    WITH ALL OF official Washington in the grip of Republicans, and an autocratic — not to say imperial — figure in the White House, many liberals are taking a second look at the 10th Amendment. That’s the one where all power not explicitly granted to the federal government by the US Constitution devolves to the states. “Progressive federalism,” a term that once might have been considered an oxymoron, is coming into vogue as worried Americans look to the states to protect their rights or to resist President-elect Donald Trump’s more despotic policy proposals.

    Already, states are preparing rearguard actions against executive overreach. California has declared that it will remain committed to the Paris climate accords even if Trump, as threatened, pulls the United States out of the global agreement. Just last week the California state legislature hired former attorney general Eric Holder to help craft legal strategies to thwart the Trump agenda. A number of cities have pledged to continue protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation roundups despite Trump’s threats to cut off their federal funding. “The states are where it’s at,” says Carol Rose, director of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union. “We are the safe havens of democracy.”
    It’s ironic that progressives find themselves looking for decentralized solutions to overweening power in Washington. Federalism, and its coarser cousin “states’ rights,” have long carried a noxious whiff of bigotry because of Southern-state resistance to civil rights and the abolition of slavery. And, since at least the 1960s and President Johnson’s Great Society, liberals have looked to Washington for broad safety-net protections, and to the Supreme Court to confer an ever-widening circle of liberties. Small-government federalists, by contrast, have often pushed local control as a cover for retrograde policies on civil rights and social welfare, including deep budget cuts masquerading as “block grants.”

    Conservatives are calling out the new fair-weather federalists as hypocrites, with snarky comments about liberals finding their inner Jeffersonian now that big government has gotten scary. But Massachusetts, at least, has walked the federalist walk, with pioneering “laboratory of democracy” experiments in same-sex marriage and universal health care that eventually became national law, just as the Jeffersonians intended.

    Republicans aren’t immune to instances of hypocrisy, either…



    More: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/01/09/liberals-are-reconsidering-federalism-wake-trump/HgskudDGK4Claz7coGTa7M/story.html


    xynthee, jwirr, LiberalArkie and 2 othersOzoneTom, Silver Witch like this

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  • jwirr (4122 posts)
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    1. Federalism was a way for leaders to force states that would not follow the goals

    and guidelines of various safety net programs. In the fifties programs like welfare were on the books but each state got to make their own rules and there were many states that used discrimination as their guide to who was eligible and to decide how much an individual would get if they qualified. So that left the poorest of the poor out. This applied to cash assistance, old age assistance, food was a distribution of commodities from you local courthouse and other pre-federal days. It was in terrible shape – especially in the south where it was considered God’s punishment to be poor and should not be rewarded.

    But it was not limited to the south – NE IA county office refused to allow my severely disabled daughter onto state health care because her father had once used it for surgery. As I walked out of the door of their office the receptionist whispered to me “Go to the next county over.” When we did that county said that they took care of most of my counties cases.

    Food stamps was one of the first federal programs that addressed this type of discrimination by setting universal guidelines and distribution levels. At that time the only safety net program at the federal level was Social Security and programs for the Veterans. Close to that time the health care system was federalized into Medicaid and state income assistance programs became AFDC. They were a great improvement.

    However, today as the Rs set out to repeal all these and more – states are going to have to think about returning to the older system. State run programs. That will mean that a great many states that elected Rs to run their state are in deep trouble. I am not in a caring mood regarding this – you elected them – now you have to live with them. The problem is that richer states are going to have the money – poorer ones are going to hurt.

    Unfortunately this is exactly what the Rs want to happen. It is their wish and our means of survival.