Audio: Is Trump Helping the Left Understand the Conservative Argument for Small, Restrained Federal Government?

President Donald Trump sits during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Feb. 8, 2017. Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Over the weekend columnist Jim Shaw wrote that Republicans should oppose “lunatic” Donald Trump’s executive orders.

With some reservations – Trump’s executive orders unwinding those issued by Obama are a separate matter, I think – I mostly agree with Shaw. I think Obama was a terrible president, not least because so many of his policies were implemented by ignoring the boundaries on executive power.

Trump may generally pursue policies I support, but process matters. I want a President who not only pursues the right policies but does so within the constitutional restraints of his office.

In short, I don’t want Trump to impose policy in the same way Obama did.

I’ve been advocating for smaller federal government, and a return to the principles of federalism, for years now. That was my stance under George W. Bush, under Barack Obama, and it’s still my stance today. What’s ironic to me is how liberals, after years of pushing to accumulate more power at the federal level, suddenly want to restrain that power now that the odious Mr. Trump is wielding it.

That’s why I had Shaw on my radio show today (audio below). To discuss this sudden shift in attitudes on the left. He doesn’t seem to think there’s been a shift, but to me it seems obvious.

Californians are talking seriously about secession. States like New York are talking about asserting their sovereignty and promising to ignore many of Trump’s orders. California hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to find ways to resist Trump’s agenda.

Whatever conservatives may feel of these efforts to obstruct Trump’s agenda (which is one that’s hardly unifying for conservatives to begin with), can we admit that this new found desire for federalism and restrained executive power on the left is a good thing?

Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s only going to last as long as there’s a Republican in the White House.

Still, I’m glad we’re at least talking about this stuff. Maybe our friends on the left will realize the folly of implementing so much policy from the federal level.

Here’s the audio:

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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