There was a time when people for the most part believed that reality "is what it is"; that it is knowable and truth could be not only obtainable but documented. Today that conviction has been shaken. Confidence in the nation’s political leaders, pollsters, and the news media are at the lowest level in modern day history. Intellectuals are ignored, newspapers and the media have been abandoned in favor of hearsay on the Internet; and politicians are being derided, shouted down, or laughed at.
Today, there are those that dispute the outright existence of facts. They argue that reality is a shadowy gray area that is an illusion, and truth can only be attained by those that don't accept reality, but other dubious ways of discerning what is true and what isn't. In the 60's, they were call Guru's". Today they are called Pundits.
This is the difference of objectivity versus subjectivity. I'm an Objectivist who tries to identify the facts of reality wherever they lead me. I have always lived by the proposition that there is no reason to keep incorrect or unprovable ideas in my mind. It is not to anyone's interest to do so. And I have fought all my life the Subjectivists who do hold indefensible ideas in their minds to achieve their own agenda. I've lived through the socialist-subjectivist years of the 60-70's, and the capitalist-objectivist years of the 80's and 90's. Today the hearts and minds of individuals are being fought for by both groups and Americans are divided and confused.
The result of the growing suspicion of intellectualism and politics, is a growing belief that might makes right, hence the world we see today.
We see marches in the streets, town hall meetings where chaos takes over, arguments over issues ranging from economic policy to the future of Obamacare, descending into stupid arguments over who can use which bathroom! At the end of the day, it all boils down to the question of whether America is headed in the right direction or the wrong direction.
Tempers have flared and has spilled over into the streets as gangs kill kids, protesters burn vehicles, bust the windows of businesses, and spray mace in the faces of reporters and demonstrators.
It is not a stretch to say that things are getting out of hand. Law and order has begun to break down from the courts to the police, to the streets that are being taken over by protestors, many who yell obscenities, and break into violence over their dissatisfaction of everything and anything like playground bullies wanting their way and wanting it now!
I am sure I am not the only one that has contemplated the possibility of a second civil war in the making. But there IS an answer to resolve the differences of the two Americas before such a tragedy occcurrs. It's called de-centralization.
It is to return to the vision of the Founding Fathers, and return to States’ Rights. There is nothing going on that compares to slavery to go to war over. We mainly disagree with one another over economic methods of achieving prosperity; over immigration and how to treat illegals’, and over Obamacare as just a few examples of what divides us.
The Founders of our country set us up as a united, but independent group of states. If we were living under their constitutional vision, each state would be able to choose their own laws as long as they did not violate the constitutional laws like free speech, freedom of religion, the protection of US citizens and such. It is a "live and let live" philosophy where differences of opinion are resolved by courts and by the voters on the local level.
Under such a system, those in California and New York for example can decide what insurance system they want, the minimum wage, working conditions, their educational system, or whatever else they deem fair without violating the basic laws of the Constitution and its Amendments. And those in Texas and the many other Red States, can decide what they want to do on those issues or decide to make no laws whatsoever concerning such matters. They may want a complete separation between the government and the economy, just as there is a complete separation of church and state. Texas could vote to withhold all welfare from illegal aliens, while California can choose to pay for their illegals and have sanctuary cities. If people have a problem with these decisions they have recourse through the voting booth or the courts.
You can have a socialist California living in peace and trading with a capitalistic Texas. And if you don’t like what’s going on in your state you are free to leave and go to a state where things are different. We would have 50 united states with many different models of experimentation of what works and what doesn't. They would be united by the freedoms and protections guaranteed under our constitution. But things like economic policy, healthcare, transportation, and education would not be a one-size-fits-all policy.
Why have a system that forces people to live under laws that they believe are immoral? People should be able to vote with their feet by moving to the friendliest community they can find here or abroad. Freedom is what this nation is all about, not forcing others to believe what you do, or act as you dictate.
The line in the sand that must not be crossed is force. The initiation of force should always be banned in a free society, and that's where the federal government comes in. They are charged with the responsibility of protecting citizens from force and all its derivatives such as coercion and fraud, through the raising of an army and through the Supreme Court.
De-centralization may not end up perfect and it may take a while to get there, but why not begin? The transfer of power from the federal government to the states can begin immediately.
Most of what we as a nation disagree about is the responsibility of the states and not the federal government – or at least it should be under our Constitution. It is the states’ responsibility to raise money for police and a court system to preserve law and order. But there is nothing that demands that states must provide a healthcare system or an education system, a welfare system or any other system...if we are talking about states’ rights as was envisioned in the US Constitution. They may or may not have these things as a matter of law. The people of the cities, counties, and states will decide. But the government is not allowed to compel states to do so. They are not allowed to violate individual rights as defined by the Constitution.
In fact it works just the opposite under a Constitutional Republic. The federal government doesn't decide policy; the cities, counties do (or should) and if there is disagreement, the voters can vote their local leaders out or take the mater to the states to resolve disputes through the courts. If some people don't like the decisions being made by their authorities they can then try to vote out their governors and legislators, or take it to the Supreme Court to try and change the law. And if they still don't like what their politicians are doing, they can leave to friendlier surroundings.
Once again, the federal government is charged with defending individual rights against foreign foes through the raising of armies and diplomats, and through defending individual's from the tyranny of the majority or states that violate the rights of its citizens. The federal government is the last one to decide what domestic policy should be employed -- not the first.
We can begin the process immediately by sending all these vary controversial public policies directly to the states and letting them deal with them in their own way. In fact, the Governors are asking for just that responsibility, telling the President last week that they will handle healthcare and education and many other programs now being botched by the Feds.
Then if there are unresolved problems at the city or state levels, let the process proceed as to whether there are violations of individual rights and what should be done about that, first through the voting booths, then through the courts, and if necessary through the Supreme Court.
Why should someone in Arizona be taxed and pay for a dam or a highway or a bridge in California, the seventh largest economy in the world. If California believes in social welfare and free education, they should pay for it under the states’ rights provision. California can have their version of a fair and affordable healthcare system, but it should all be paid for by Californians. It is their state and their responsibility! Those in other states should do the same.
If Texas doesn't want a state health system or a state educational system and wanted all bridges and highways privatized, they should be allowed to do so. And if individuals of either state don't like the laws of their state, they can move to another state they think has a better economy or environment. They are free to do so.
So de-centralization is the road to peace. There would be no reason to demonstrate against Congress or the President since they would not be in charge of education, or healthcare, or transportation. They can close those departments down which aren’t working anyway, and then balance the budget. What you would end up with are fifty states all with different experiments and approaches on how to solve problems. Then we can see which ones work the best and which ones lead to the best results.
It's either that…or go to war with one another and watch the greatest nation in the world destroy itself - which we are well on our way to doing.