The Left Begins to Understand the Threats of Expansive, All-Powerful Federal Government


U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

On the Drudge Report this morning was a link to a report about how liberals are “stockpiling” food and guns as we get closer to the reality of a Trump administration.

The story was produced by InfoWars, which is a production of conspiracy monger Alex Jones, and I don’t see a lot of facts or evidence to support the thesis of the piece. But the headline did make me think of something that I think is very real.

I think our friends on the left are truly afraid of what the world might be like under President Donald Trump.

Some of it is posturing. The on-going weaponization of victimhood. It’s a deft political maneuver. It’s hard to have a debate when your position is that the other side’s political philosophy victimizes  you. Nonsense.

But some of it is real. President Barack Obama and his allies have spent most of the last decade advancing their progressive agenda by breaking down checks and balances on executive branch authority. When conservatives objected they were derided as obstructionists. When critics pointed to the federalist underpinnings of our national government, making a state’s rights argument, they were called secessionists. Modern manifestations of those who used state’s rights to protect slavery and other racist policies.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]The left could sleep easier at night here at the dawn of the Trump era if some of the barriers to executive power they tore down were still standing.[/mks_pullquote]

Now the left is faced with handing all of that power they created over to a mortal political enemy who will likely have few qualms about using all the same tricks (and some of his own) to advance his agenda. Because Trump is hardly a man with ideological scruples. He’s a results guy. That’s how he campaigned. That’s how he will govern.

I hope this situation might serve as a lesson for our liberal friends. A wake up call. Their endless drive to consolidate the power of government at the federal level, generally, and in the executive branch specifically has pushed the stakes of national elections to stratospheric heights. That, in turn, has contributed to rancor and unrest in our society.

Maybe they should have listened to the conservative opposition, on process if not policy. The left could sleep easier at night here at the dawn of the Trump era if some of the barriers to executive power they tore down were still standing.

I would be lying if I said I will be unhappy to see Trump unwind some of Obama’s policy decisions. Our outgoing President continues to make choices – such as his recent parting shot at the coal industry – which are not only bad for North Dakota but the nation as well. I won’t be sorry to see Trump walk some of them back.

But what I’d really like to see Trump do is restore some limits on federal authority. To push more of the authority to govern back to the state and local governments from where it has usurped over the years by both Republican and Democratic administrations.

There is perhaps no need in our country greater than a return federalist principles.

I don’t have a lot of hope that Trump will deliver. It’s not something he’s talked about, nor does it fit the governing philosophy he’s described. But maybe, after living under Trump for a few years, it will be something the left will have an appetite for going forward.

Maybe that’s pollyannaish of me, but I’m hopeful.