So you wanna talk about Federalism
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
So, here’s the tea (Yes that’s my intro to my blog posts. I’m here, and queer, get used to it). Anywho, you wanna talk about Federalism? *CONTENT WARNING: Pretty political, and rants ahead*. Taking my politics class in college it surprises me how much people have a lack of knowledge on Federalism and the illusory structures that it harvests. Speech and Debate have definitely helped a lot with the making of this post. So let’s get the premise out of the way. Federalism is a multi-layer governmental system (usually unitary) that combines the national/federal government, with more regional/state governments in hopes to further national sovereignty (or state power). Recently, however, it seems to continue giving more and more power to the national government, whether we as citizens do it intentionally or not. The reason this is will be revealed later on in the post but some background information upon instances of increasing national sovereignty. The first is the Civil War. Obviously the states needed a central power to rely on the distribution of authority not only within each state but the interactions between them and the political structures that were established by the Founders of the US. The second major example was 9/11 in which was a tragic terrorist attack on US soil that instilled a need for governmental action, or so the citizens thought. Especially since this attack lead to Islamaphobia and justification for the intervention in the Middle East, killing millions in a racist regime by the US. The third example can be linked to today, where many wars, conflicts, and international relations are being held at the brink where people are nervous about decisions being made, so they entrust one person to make the decisions for them.
The most common factor between a ton of these examples is fear. All three examples and many more provide evidence that the Federal government feeds off the scare factor that citizens feel on a daily basis. It’s this exact fear that creates the biopolitical and necropolitical forces (which is a very complicated topic for another time). This can be seen in areas such as US hegemony, military intervention, and even modern-day politics. The increasing power to the federal government has created an illusory democracy, where many marginalized groups are exploited and assigned a value under Western Neoliberalism (again, another topic for another time). One of the major examples that I like to talk about is the Electoral College. I’m sorry but literally what is the point? Geographical diversity? No ma’am. The idea that we want to “even the playing field between political parties” (which is what my next topic is going to be about, the two-party system, is exactly how federalism lives to extract the rights of individuals on a micro and macro level. The true idea of the election goes past state borders. So I’d like to do an activity. Imagine a world without state borders. Everyone just lives where they want amongst all of the lands in the United States. We run every election just how it would be. Doesn’t this represent what the true meaning of democracy is? The system that we have put in place throws away votes just in your state because it wasn’t in the majority, and the idea that state officials don’t even HAVE to vote for who the people actually decide is a flawed system that only gives the federal government more oversight. Especially when it comes to state bargaining. Federal governments persuade state governments to do certain actions by giving them grants. This only further proves that the truth in the tea is that the federal government is clowning on the citizens they swore to protect. The federal government holds us in its national sovereignty to scare us into the “rule-of-law”. That is not only undemocratic, unconstitutional, but unacceptable.
And that’s on periodt.
Trey Roark (he/him or she/her)
Wake Forest University Freshman & CX Debater