When the United States won its independence from Britain, the Founders in their wisdom decided a robust Federalism was the way to go. With our current and deep-seated divisions, if we are to survive as genuinely united states, it is a necessity that we return to that Constitutional Federalism.
A pleasant irony of the UK election results overnight is that the UK may become a good example to the US in that regard. From re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks at 10 Downing today:
I have always believed in governing with respect. That’s why in the last parliament we devolved power to Scotland and Wales and gave the people of Scotland a referendum on whether to stay inside the United Kingdom. In this parliament I will stay true to my word and implement as fast as I can the devolution that all parties agreed for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Governing with respect recognising that the different nations of our United Kingdom have their own governments as well as the United Kingdom government. Both are important and indeed with our plans the governments of these nations will become more powerful with wide responsibilities. In Scotland our plans are to create the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation and no constitutional settlement would be complete if it did not offer, also, fairness to England.
Given the UK’s divisions, I think this a wise way to proceed. As much as I detest Scottish politics, to let Scotland be Scotland and England be England without either putting the other under their thumb seems the most peaceful way to proceed. (And, certainly, there is quite enough history to back me up!)
And that to England’s benefit as well. One reason a Labour-Scottish National Party victory would have been so awful is the two parties would have likely ganged up on more sensible and more conservative England. Leftist Scotland should never be allowed to dictate to England.
Here in the United States, the Left coast, the almost as Leftist Northeast Coast, and states dominated by urban enclaves of social rot use the Federal Government to dictate to the rest of us. That. Must. Stop.
Sadly, our divisions are probably worse than the UK’s and make a return to a robust Federalism that much more needful. The alternative . . . is not pleasant to think about. If California, Chicago, Cleveland, New York etc. want to go to Hell, that is their choice. But I would rather not be dragged there with them, thank you. And I would rather not be at their throats or they at mine either. The practice of Federalism in which the Federal Government does a few things we can all agree on, and the rest is left to the states and localities is surely a better, more peaceful way to go.
Again, it would be one of those ironies of history if the mother country reminds us of the need for Federalism and gives us a good example of how to do it.