This week has provided one of the best arguments I have seen in a long time for states taking power back from the Federal Government. Massachusetts elected a new Senator. I haven't lived there for over 16 years. I've been a student in Utah, a resident of California, and am now happily an Idahoan. I should not really care, therefore, what the outcome of this election was. But I did, I do. Why? Because the Senate as a group has way too much control over the details of my life in my state.
Currently, the future of health care in this nation is the issue at stake. The direction of the health care reform is not only controversial, but of crucial import. The consequences, deemed good or bad, will be significant and far-reaching. In this case, the election of one candidate over another may determine the passage or rejection of the bill.
My purpose, however, is not to debate health care. It is to illustrate the predicament we have collectively put ourselves in by allowing the Federal Government powers which are not given them by our Constitution. When our nation was formed, it was a Union of States. The states were powerful. They largely managed themselves. They came together to create a central government and crafted a document which enumerated its powers. Those powers, those responsibilities, were few and specific. Duties not listed were to be left to the states. The case is easily made that the vast majority of current Federal departments and regulations are unconstitutional.
Washington is a mess. Congress has become a body of largely career politicians with apparent disdain for their constituents. The sitting president shows little understanding of the stewardly nature of his position. "I," "me," "mine," and "my," are words used more frequently by him than by any other president in my memory. He doesn't care for America as it is--he seems to want to be Europe. The president before him certainly wasn't for a small federal government either. The judicial system has come to see themselves as the balance of power rather than a balance. And citizens all over the nation feel some degree of helplessness. We are witnesses to the process rather than being a significant part of it. Citizens have lately been ridiculed for voicing their opinions and concerns.
It doesn't really matter which party is in power. The status quo will not change until states begin reclaiming their rights. The more locally anything is operated, the less waste there tends to be, the more the actual needs of the people are met, and the stronger influence the people have in their government. Why should someone in Massachusetts dictate what type of health care system will be used in Idaho? Why should Texans decide that the education policies which were effective for their children should be the standard for kids in every state? Why should California have more say in what will happen to folks in Rhode Island then the people of that state? One size does not fit all. It never has and it never will.
I'm proud to note that Idaho is a state which is currently working to pass a bill to exempt themselves from national health care regulations, should they pass. More states need to tell the Federal Government to take a hike more often for all sorts of control they try to impose. I believe that is the only way to weaken central power, for they will never vote for policies to that end, regardless of campaign promises.
The result would be a choice. We can choose where to live. There are already differences between states. Our decision to move to Idaho was influenced by many factors, and politics was not an insignificant one. Being business owners, policies effect us rather drastically. But the differences could be greater, and more of us could be happier living in an area more suited to our individual ideals and needs.