Why federalism is key to restoring civic connectedness and faith in the American government
Mike Lee


I have respect for your work on criminal justice reform (although you have been wavering a bit in the post-Sessions world). But this rosy view of Federalism seems to be blind to at least 2 massive problems:

1 The biggest cause of social connection, home ownership, excellent public education, and neighborhood building in the history of the Modern United States was caused by the GI Bill (which last I checked was a Federal program). There was also the National Highway system instituted by Ike and let us not forget the national works programs that were also widely responsible for recovery from the Great Depression.

2. Federalism has had more than a few massive blemishes on its historical record. Slavery, Jim Crow, White Flight, Legal housing discrimination, racial voter suppression (and I could go on and on). Economic inequality and the enforced racial inequality started local and Civil Rights were only protected because of Federal Intervention every single time (oh, and did I mention slavery?). For a small sampling of this part of the historical record, I suggest you read the sociological study “American Apartheid.”

Oh, and lets not forget, but for National and Statewide interventions the disparity between neighborhood schools in wealthy tax districts vs schools in poor school districts (literal Federalism) would be even worse than it is. The vast majority of kids in bad schools experience poor education because of accidents of federalist birth (the majority of school funding comes from local taxes). Federalism is actually the cause of most of the rollback of Federal intervention to ensure better schools for poor and disadvantaged kids.

Also, I am a lifelong Christian and attend Church every Sunday, so don’t just discard my response for just being a godless liberal.

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