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I'm both a Liberal and a Federalist and for people who have stereotypical views about what Liberals and liberalism actually are and is especially on the Right, that might sound like someone who says they believe in both a federal republic and theocracy. Well which one do you believe in, the federal republic or theocracy? Because they are two different things. But liberalism and federalism, actually go together. Because they both believe in the notions that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Especially big centralized power like in government, or in national multi-national corporations, to use as examples. Federalism, says that you have a Federal Government for a reason. To deal with national issues that affects everyone. And then let the states and localities deal with the issues in their jurisdictions.
Federalism, doesn't say that you shouldn't have a Federal Government and that there isn't much if any role for the Federal Government. This isn't a libertarian philosophy even though Libertarians tend to support federalism. It just lays out exactly what the Federal Government should be doing. We need a national defense. we need a national foreign policy and diplomatic relations. We need to regulate interstate commerce when economic crimes are committed by the same people in multiple states, to use as examples. You obviously have to collect revenue for your Federal Government. You need to prosecute and police interstate crimes. The Feds, have to fight and prosecute terrorism. You need a national infrastructure system so you know that people can drive from state to state.
But that the states and localities need to be able to handle the issues that go on their own state. Dealing with local crime, education, building their own roads, dealing with their homelessness and poverty issues, collecting their own revenue, regulating their own economies, etc. Not that the Federal Government doesn't have a role here, but that they shouldn't be in charge here and telling the states and localities, 'this is what you need to do here.' Without providing the resources to pay for what the Feds want to do. Where the Feds can and should come in is helping communities especially struggling communities, deal with their issues. And not just the government's in these communities, but the private sector, non-profits to deal with poverty, lets say. So everyone has a real shot to overcome these issues which are a national concern.
Federalists, just say that government needs to be limited to exactly what we need it to do. And that includes the Federal Government especially in a huge country with all of our land and people which is what America is. And that power needs to be decentralized and spread out. Let Wisconsin and Colorado, to use as examples figure out how to educate their kids, fight crime, deal with poverty and others issues in their states. Leave the Feds to deal with issues that we must have it doing. Like foreign policy and defense, terrorism, but interstate commerce and crimes, regulating the environment and energy policy, would be other issues. As well as assist local communities and states both in the public and private communities, deal with tough issues that they're struggling to deal with.
Harold Orndorff: American Federalism