Friday, July 23, 2010

All Politics is Local

Tip O'Neill once famously declared that "all politics is local." His intent was to communicate that the interests and concerns of towns and cities around the country directly affect the actions of politicians in Washington, D.C.

If you spend a few minutes listening to the scuttlebutt around the office, though, you will find that national politics rules the day in the public consciousness. You are much more likely to hear complaints about Barack Obama than about the local city councilman. "All politics is national" is a much more apt description of what the public seems to care and talk about.

Our nation's capitol has become a fitting symbol of everything that's wrong with civil government. But, if we hope to resist leviathan, we need to change our tactics and focus more locally once again. I have given up all hope in reforming Washington -- both the Demlicans and the Repubocrats have proven incapable of responsibly wielding power. But, there is hope at the state level. Arizona, for example, is waking up to the possibility of taking on the federal government on a key problem facing Arizonians -- illegal immigration. Governor Brewer is daring to oppose the federal government... and she is right to do so. Other states are crafting opposition to the national healthcare abomination.

Before we became nationally soft and effeminate, Americans once were schooled in the bold ideas of interposition, nullification, and secession. Our country was founded on state resistance to British tyranny much more mild than that imposed from Washington today. We need to restoke the dying embers of interposition and fan them into a flame of principled state resistance to Washington. In 1832, the noble state of South Carolina passed the Ordnance of Nullification to make null and void the Tariff of Abominations, and making it a criminal offense for state officers of South Carolina to enforce the federal laws in question. We need to be seeking out, finding, and electing to state government the modern-day John C. Calhouns -- the "cast-iron men" who will lead the way to roll-back of the welfare-warfare state.

All politics resistance is local.

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