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The Folly of Federalism


This past week, after setting our little ones up at camp, Marisol and I departed for our traditional wedding anniversary bike trip.  We chose the Catalonia area of Spain, which is known for its great beauty, challenging terrain, and terrific food and wine.  After Day 1 we’re not at all disappointed.  Our group’s guide is a native Catalonian, and before dinner he reviewed for our group the current conflict regarding Catalonia’s desire to secede from Spain.  He caught us up on the history of Catalonia, which was in fact a separate nation until the 1700’s, and continues with its own language and rich culture to this day, even as its citizens submit taxes to, and are under the governance of the Spanish governmental authority.


As I listened to our guide, and the lively debate among our group that followed, I began to reflect upon the U.S.  What I came away feeling, more than ever, was how wrong a far-reaching Federalist approach to governing was.  Even from the outset of the U.S., the founding fathers had no intention of a central federal government providing much more than protection to its citizens, instead relying on the state governments to handle most of what needed to be handled for their daily lives.  This makes so much more sense for so many reasons that I feel its almost silly for me to have to recount them here.  I suppose accountability is about all that one really needs to say, and maybe also an enhanced capacity for empathy.

Well, in the spirit of the July 4th Independence Day it is my great wish that the expansionist federal government that we’ve witnessed for at least the past five and half years will be reversed in due course.  I am certain that this will go a very long way to reducing our nation’s deficit and will bring improved services to our citizens.  And for my new Catalonian friends, I hope that they too can at the very least benefit from less control from Madrid and have more self-government in their region.

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