Renewing Hope by Flexing Forgotten Muscles

America's governors are reclaiming forgotten powers.

Given that most of our Gentle Readers live in America, odds are we all know someone who is morbidly obese.  There may be many reasons for this, ranging from lack of personal self-control through psychological problems to a legitimate medical issue, but in most cases it would be possible for them to lose weight - it's just difficult and a lot of work.

Yet, probably most of us also know someone who used to be immensely fat, and then one day decided to take the necessary action to change that state.  The first day, nothing happened, they just felt awful - and, likely, the next day as well.

After awhile, though, they realized that exercising was starting to actually feel... good?  Fat rolls began to shrink; muscles began to be visible, then show definition.

Over time, they started to garner compliments, perhaps catcalls and wolf-whistles.  Instead of being afraid to go out, now they positively welcomed attention and admiring stares.  Months or years later, both regular exercise and public activity have become part of daily life, even fundamental to who they are.  They're never going back, and they're much the better for it.

What's the difference between the couch potato and the Adonis?  Usually, just a matter of decision-making and long-term, faithful effort.  Aside from unfortunate injuries or other medical conditions, we all have the same muscles available to us; we just choose to use them differently, or not use them at all to the point we forget they exist.

But they still do - they're there, buried latent under layers of fat, just waiting for the summons to rebuild and reach their full potential.

Atrophied Muscles of Political Power

As with the bodies of all too many American citizens, the political muscles throughout most levels of American government have also become atrophied and forgotten.  Most of our governmental authorities - local, city, county, state - occupy their time and our money doing what you might call the "routine maintenance" of government - collecting taxes, fixing potholes, issuing pettifogging regulations - and generally do a poor job of it.  In some places, like the Democrat disaster cities, they barely even try to attempt good governance, exerting all their power to shut down free speech and lawful gun ownership instead to make it easier to maintain political power without having to do any of the hard work which voters used to demand of elected officials.

This isn't how the American system was designed, or ever intended to be.  As our Declaration of Independence flatly put it, America is composed of what "are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."

Thanks to our Constitution, the several states aren't 100% independent anymore - they chose to delegate certain powers to the Federal government, generally relating to interstate and international matters.  We've all benefited from this, and nobody thinks that America should become 50 completely independent countries with their own armies, embassies, and border guards.

But at the same time, America is not and never has been a unitary state on the European model where whatever the national capital says is what goes.  We've simply forgotten this truth over the years, letting Washington run roughshod over our rights, our independence, and even the separate traditions of various states and regions.

There is absolutely no reason why New York City must be run in the same way as Birmingham, Alabama, or Boise, Idaho - or even of Kodiak, Alaska or some unnamed hamlet in North Dakota.  It's because our elites have tried to run things this way - all the same, and all to their taste - that America is so full of anger and discontent.

The only way to restore proper boundaries and respect for differences is for the elected governmental authorities of states, cities, and counties to choose to use political will to exercise their political muscles - something we haven't seen, at least on the Right, in lo these many decades.

Until now!  All of a sudden, we have a rush of red-state governors to the gym, flexing their newly-discovered biceps and even occasionally kicking sand into the face of a tyrannical Uncle Same.

Thus we find states like Texas, West Virginia, and Montana passing bills explicitly forbidding any state employees from assisting the Feds in enforcing federal gun control laws.  We see the Attorney General of Arizona boldly rejecting the Department of Justice's attempted interference in their ongoing audit of the 2020 election results.  Arizona's elected Senator Wendy Rogers was even more blunt:

You will not touch Arizona ballots or machines unless you want to spend time in an Arizona prison.

This is what federalism looks like and feels like - states exercising their own power in the areas that are properly in their control, and the federal government being kept outside looking in.  Of course, if there are any actual crimes going on, then the feds are free to present their evidence before an independent judge and jury - in the meantime, local DAs and AGs are doing exactly that with crimes that the Feds would prefer go unpunished.

Standing Up to Bullies, in Bunches

The problem arises when states decide to take broader action against the interests of our globalist Democrat-run federal government and bureacracy.  Joe Biden has made it plain that he doesn't believe America's borders should be defended; anyone who can drag their carcass across the Rio Grande has as much or more right to welfare and free health care as any American citizens.

Texas in particular feels otherwise, and has decided to send their own National Guard troops to work to secure the border when the national government has refused.  So far, so unusual but not extreme - Texas obviously has both the legal right, and the responsibility, to apprehend lawbreakers in its own territory.

Gov. Abbott's mildy controversial move has triggered something far more striking: other states, many with no Mexican border at all, are sending troops to help. Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, even South Dakota a thousand miles away - all have chosen to chip in and help do the job our national army won't do.

No, this isn't the way it's supposed to work - defending the nation is the #1 job of the Commander-in-Chief, and this situation is specifically called out in Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.

On the other hand, the framers of the Constitution clearly had some inkling that this might be necessary, as we see in Article 1 Section 10:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Our elites explode in indignation whenever the word "invasion" is used in relation to illegal immigrants, but what else can you call tens of millions of people pouring across the border in direct violation of our laws?  Sure, some of them are children; most aren't, and a surprising number of them are quite well armed.  What could be more appropriate than using armed force to repel armed invaders?

Obviously, we'd prefer the national government to be doing this; it is after all their job.  But if they won't, we're glad other levels of government are stepping up to the plate.

In doing so, they are politically building both muscles and interstate relationships that may come in handy down the road, as Federal malfeasance and misgovernance increases.  Our Founders were huge fans of divided government, separation of powers, and widely distributed power centers.  Their brilliance and foresight may yet save us all - yet another reason to celebrate and honor them on this, the real Independence Day weekend!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments

Good article overall. I would like to correct one implication, the implication that exercise causes weight loss. It does not. Starving yourself is the only way to lose weight. Exercise is a small player in weight loss; but it will make you feel better, if you don't overdo it, and improve your overall health in most cases.

As it relates to this article, the better analogy would be a weak person of any weight gaining strength through exercise instead of the weight loss analogy. If you do not exercise long enough you will be unable to stand up. That is what almost all Republican leaders have done. They are all talk and no work. Now a few Republican governors are shakily standing up and grabbing walkers and shuffling along. I do not expect it to last very long until they sit back down and loudly tell us that they tried hard, but they are not able to keep going, then they will say "please send money, we are still better than the Democrats."

July 3, 2021 6:45 PM
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