Political Education

State’s roles and Federal Government’s roles

AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY!  Let me say this again for all of you gasping at my statement. AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.  Ok then what are we?  

America is a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.  Now, what does that mean to those of us without a Political Science degree?

It means that America has 50 states and when the framers of the constitution designed the constitution they kept the states in mind, hence the 10th amendment which in layman’s terms says that any rights not specifically given to the federal government belong to the states.  

Now, what does that mean?  For the first 100-150 years of American history, the federal government dealt with international stuff and interstate commerce and the state governments took care of the people.  Then the Industrial Revolution happened, and things began to get messy.  The common man, meaning the common businessman, wasn’t taking the individual man’s interest to heart.  

The constitution was designed for an America that was an agrarian state, not an international power player.  Teddy Roosevelt began some of the earliest Progressive movements that had federal laws touching the lives of the individual.  We all love the Pure Food and Drug Act and things of that nature.  Teddy Roosevelt though didn’t interfere with the state governments as much as he could, he campaigned for a minimum age requirement, and compulsory education, and a minimum wage, and got them, but all of these laws were on the state level.  No no, his cousins Franklin Roosevelt and Elenore Roosevelt were the ones who gave the federal government the powers it has today. As president FDR brought us Medicare, Medicaid, social security and welfare.  These programs are the pains of all fiscal Conservatives, things that people want and that lawmakers seriously don’t want to pay for.  

Now, why did I give you this history lesson? Today’s political climate is very, how should I put this gently, heated.  OK pundits and newscaster and politicians act like idiotic wild dogs.  And we can’t say this is all a brand new thing.  We all know what happened to Aaron Burr.  The difference is the internet and CNN.  What these things do is disseminate information quickly and not always accurately.  In a 21st century America, what is the role of the federal government in relation to the state government?  

I think the reality of all this is that we as Americans are deciding what a 21st-century government looks like.  The new Republican majority in the house seems to want to move the government closer to the founder’s original intentions, but I don’t think this will work.  In a 21st century world, Americans and the world expect a strong central government with a strong presidency.  People assume that Obama is the leader and law making body of America when in reality he can make as many laws as I can slam dunk baskets.  

Instead of moving towards an old model lawmakers need to create a whole new model of the roles that each part of the government should play.  Look I know that America is a continent and not a country, and having a normal model of government, on leader heading the whole country would be difficult, but there needs to be something in the middle.  Don’t you agree?

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