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Federalism Trumps the Strongman
By Mark Shepard

March 21, 2016

A recent article, titled "Congratulations, GOP, You’ve Created a Monster”, connected the rise of Donald Trump to the Republican majority’s betrayal of the very ideas they campaigned on to win.

Indeed electing Republican majorities to Congress was a good-faith-effort by voters to use the people’s branch, which is constitutionally the most powerful branch, to roll back much of what total Democrat control forced onto America during Obama’s first two years. That failed miserably and so now millions frustrated with the direction of our federal government feel left to fight fire with fire.

Most people have been surprised by the number of Americans supporting Trump’s strongman-politics campaign, which has rolled over every one of the “establishment” Republicans’ "electable" candidates. At this point Trump’s only viable primary opponent is Senator Ted Cruz, who is anything but establishment. But as a strong supporter of state and citizen rights, neither is Cruz an advocate of strongman-politics.

However for those who want to battle Democrats with their own medicine, almost any issue reveals that authoritarian strongman-politics is exactly how they push their agenda. Here are three examples:

Socialized healthcare: The last two times the Democrats gained control of the presidency and Congress (1993 and 2009) they pushed toward socialized healthcare. Both times, the following election voters flipped control of Congress to Republicans. Democrats completely disregarded voter’s opposition, ramming faster and harder in 2009 as the 2700-page Obamacare became law before members could even read it.

Abortion: After 50-million abortions and decades of technological advancements showing life at earlier and earlier stages, Democrats remain fully committed to abortion with no restrictions, including parental notification.

Through Obamacare, most Americans are forced to pay for abortions, trampling over moral and religious opposition. Religious organizations are forced to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to secure their First Amendment rights.

Homosexual marriage: Marriage as defined by nature and nature’s God is no longer tolerated. We must ignore human design, serious health risks and related diseases, and the yearning of children to know their mother and father. Opposing views have no place. The strongman demands total submission. Religions and sciences are shoved to the back seat.

This is the world of authoritarian politics. Every issue is just another example. The Constitution and Bill of Rights mean nothing to a strongman. The America the Democrats have created, and unfortunately Republicans have not effectively challenged, is a “might makes right” world where everyone must yield to their agenda.

It is that rotten root that has produced fertile ground for Donald Trump’s strongman campaign. Trump’s followers are fed up with having things shoved down their throats and have determined the only way to beat it back is with their own strongman. Trump is merely filling a hole that both parties helped create.

However, this road is a destructive road. And if a Republican strongman is elected, Americans will not like him any better than the Democrat strongman. Civil unrest will increase and very likely lead to another civil war. There are no winners down this path. But that is the outcome when government forces upon its population ideas that huge portions of its population firmly oppose.

The alternative is to go back to the wisdom of our nation’s framers where the blessings of a limited federal government were well understood. Let states be the laboratories of representative democracy, a model frequently termed federalism. Bad ideas, which require force to survive, will be weeded out at the state level, while good ideas will naturally propagate from one state to the next.

With the states sorting out domestic policy ideas, the federal government is much better positioned to tend to its constitutional responsibilities. The men and women who serve in our military can be a priority, instead of a political prop. Implementing and enforcing an immigration policy that strengthens America can go beyond campaign talk.

To make America truly great again, we must reject destructive strongman-politics and instead embrace federalism. That is why I support Ted Cruz for president. Ted has a long consistent record of fighting for America’s founding principles. The fact that Ted is still in a position to win the Republican nomination, points to a growing wave of Americans eager to return real hope to America.

© Mark Shepard

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