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Federalism and the Boston Bombing

We'll never agree - so let states do things differently!

By Petrarch  |  April 30, 2013

As with so many other events in modern American life, the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath seem incapable of teaching anyone anything they don't already know.  The events of the last few weeks are nothing more than a Rorschach test - everything written or said tells us more about the person reporting the events than about reality.

For the diversity-at-all-costs left, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's sad statement, “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them” proves once again the irremediably nativist, discriminatory, Islamophobic, and racist nature of America and Americans.  For the right, the bombing demonstrates that Tsarnaev and his family are ungrateful wretches who should have been sent packing back to the hellhole kindly America fished them out of instead of being heaped with American tax dollars to a degree which our elected politicians refuse to disclose.

The conservative blogosphere, already nervous about government interference in our lives, went ballistic at news that the Boston police went house-to-house doing forcible searches for the bombers without either warrants or probable cause.  In the event, the fugitive wasn't found by the police, but by a private citizen who checked on his boat after the cops finally let him walk the public streets.  For the left, this disturbing event is proof positive that we need to put surveillance cameras everywhere so the authorities won't need to look in anyone's house - they'll already know where everyone is from Central Command!

Despite the best efforts of the liberal media, there is no way this bombing can be blamed on conservatives, Republicans, or racists.  There hasn't been a Republican politician running Boston in living memory, and what we know of the Tsarnaevs' experiences in that liberal mecca looks like one multi-culti pander after another.  Gun control wouldn't have helped - the bombs were made from perfectly-legal pressure cookers and other kitchen materials and the terrorists stole weapons from police officers they murdered.

The More Things Change...

Yet nothing will change.  Boston isn't going to allow citizens to arm themselves for self-defense, much less deport Muslim lunatics or welfare recipients.  Conservatives aren't going to be persuaded that the overwhelming force of a liberal police state is a good idea, even though the small army of the Boston PD did in fact collar the crooks fairly briskly despite generating Hollywood levels of mayhem and expense in the process.

All this points straight back to the wisdom of the Founders: Unlike England, the United States is not supposed to be one giant monolith.  It is supposed to be fifty independent states which are supposed to be able to run things their own way within very wide parameters.

It makes sense for national immigration and citizenship laws to be regulated by the Federal government.  But why, exactly, can't different states treat immigration offenses with different levels of priority?  What, exactly, is the problem with Arizona aggressively deporting illegal immigrants while Massachusetts puts them on welfare and provides them with free housing like several of Obama's illegal African relatives enjoyed?

If you'd like to spend your tax money to buy the world a Coke, move to Boston.  If you'll give up your gun when they pry it from your cold dead fingers, move to Texas.  If you're convinced that women and their doctors have a privacy right to kill babies with scissors while they writhe and cry on the operating table, move to Philadelphia; otherwise, move to Kansas.

Federalism Works, Federal Government Doesn't

America has massive problems across the board.  Our political system is dysfunctional and cannot solve any of them.  That's almost entirely because our politicians and lobbyists are trying to solve things unilaterally, from the top down.

When we were one core American culture, top-down leadership worked some of the time, but we aren't anymore, and it's become hopeless.

The only way America can survive as a united country is via a serious return to the principles of federalism.  In the past, each state ran things the way its own people thought best and people moved to states where they agreed with the rules.  Today, our monolithic Federal government is dead-set on making all America play by the same rulebook.  All that's accomplishing is infuriating everyone, whether it be liberals in the Pacific Northwest who want to legally smoke pot or conservatives in the South who want to restrict abortion.

If we don't put some slack back in the system, the Feds will eventually try to enforce a mandate that certain states simply can't stomach.  When that day arrives, one of two things will happen: either we won't be a democracy anymore, or we won't be the United States.