Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee thinks the biggest threat that the federalist form of government currently faces is all too clear.
“Government. And the impulse to consolidate power,” Lee told The Western Journal on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.
What’s the biggest threat that federalism faces today?
“Government. And the impulse to consolidate power.”
— Joe Setyon (@JoeSetyon) February 26, 2021
In the U.S. Constitution, America’s Founding Fathers outlined a system of government where power would be divided between the federal government and the state governments. The federal government would have specific powers — like the authority to sign treaties, levy taxes and declare war — but as the 10th Amendment makes clear: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
More than 200 years after the Constitution was ratified, the concept of federalism faces a threat from big-government leftists who want to implement their agenda and have no qualms about violating the Constitution to do so, conservative leaders say.
The state of federalism is “a disaster,” former Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat told The Western Journal on Saturday at CPAC.
“It’s just a dream right now,” added Brat, who pointed out that James Madison, the author of the Constitution, studied Hebrew at Princeton University and is now considered the school’s first graduate student.
“So why does that matter?” Brat said. “Because if your view of human nature is that we’re very fallen, then what kind of constitutional structure do you set up? You divide power every which way. And that’s federalism. So, federal, state, local. But then also at the federal, you got your three branches of government.”
But the left is seeking to destroy this balance of power, Brat said.
“In the place of that, we got big everything. That’s what the left wants, right? They’re not liberals anymore. Liberals would have been more interested in federalism, but the new Marxist push is just [to] grasp for power in every way, shape, form.”
President Joe Biden and his administration deserve much of the blame for the current state of federalism, South Carolina Republican Rep. Ralph Norman told The Western Journal.
“They’re violating the Constitution with everything they do,” Norman said Saturday at CPAC. “Start with the regulations that he’s putting on unconstitutionally from the federal government. The states created the federal government, the federal government did not create the states.”
The left wants to use the power of the government to build a “leftist utopia,” even if that means disregarding the Constitution, Lee said.
“The left, of course, does hate the Bill of Rights. Why?” Lee told the CPAC crowd during his speech Friday. “Because the Bill of Rights talks about things that the government can’t do, and that to them is like blasphemy. That’s the absolute worst because they want to use government.”
So what’s the solution?
In the short term, conservatives must vote big-government leftists out of office, Norman said.
“In 16 months, we’ll have another election,” Norman told The Western Journal, pointing out that Democrats only enjoy a slim majority in the House of Representatives. “We’re five votes short. When I started the 116th Congress, we had 232 Democrats to 197 Republicans. Now, we’re five short. We’ve got to change them out. We’ve got to have a bigger majority. The only way you deal with this crowd is [to] take the gavel away from Ms. Pelosi.”
But in the long term, there must be “a reawakening of the basic American principles that made us great,” Brat said.
“The Judeo-Christian tradition is key in that. And I think it’s happening in the country. There’s a reaction against this Marxist push that’s just gone bananas in terms of redefining conceptions of the family,” he added.
“You’ve got to get the word out and then inform and educate people,” Brat concluded.
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