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Reply to "Let's do some detective work - Walter Williams"

I do not consider myself a neo-con, or a Federalist, but I do see a pragmatic use for Williams' Federalist position.

I have long believed that the Federal government's powers have been and should be limited to providing for the people [of the nation] what the people [the States] are unable or unwilling to provide for themselves. The Federalist Papers advocate for a strict limiting of the Federal government to only those matters enumerated in the Constitution. Namely, providing for the common defense, facilitating inter-state and foreign commerce, international relations, and of course taxation (but only to the extent to fund these activities). The above powers are specifically spoken to in the Constitution. These Papers also advocate that the remaining powers escheat to the States.

However, the Federal government's powers are expanded through the "general welfare clause" to include those areas where the States have shown that they are unable or unwilling to act in the best interest of the citizenry. Examples of these include the areas of civil rights and environmental protections.

IMO, Black folk can/should embrace the Federalist position as a pragmatic means for gaining real political influence.

The fact is in our present governmental structure, "the people" (the common man/woman) have very little influence on the national agenda. The national agenda is set by the radical special interest groups of both the left and the right. These groups write the legislation and then buy our federal representatives' votes. The majority of congress couldn't care less about the common person's political agenda because the common person can't/won't finance the congress person's upcoming campaign, nor will the common person provide the lucrative consulting contracts, where the congress person will land where they leave office.

And, even if this were not the case, and our congress persons' agenda were based on the electorate's agenda, the reality is Black folks don't have the demograghic clout to influence the political agenda on the national level. The way the congressional districts are drawn, our votes are concentrated into narrow districts. So while we may capture a few seats, we will never have enough to really influence the national agenda.

However, the same demograghics that limit our national influence increase our l;ocal influence. While we don't have the numbers to elect, outright, a president or even a senator, we do have the numbers to elect council persons; in many places, we do have the numbers to elect mayors; we do have the numbers to strongly influence the state level elections, we even have the numbers to influence state-wide elections.

To illustrate this concept, pick an issue, then try to speak with your representatives. Start with your council person, then your mayor, then your state reps, then you congressional reps, then call the president. I believe you'll find an inverse relationship between level of the rep and your ability to talk with them. This is a direct representation of the importance of your vote (i.e., political opinion) to the elected official.

By embracing the Federalist position, we will see a rise in the power of the states to provide services to the people. We will see a rise in programs and policies that directly impact our lives. We will see a decline in the proportion of our tax dollars going to Washington, only to be sent back to the states. We will see a decline in local governments promoting unneeded local programs just because the fed is paying for it. Rather, local governments will have the money to institute local programs that will have positivem effects on the local population.

We also will see a boost to local economies, because our talented citizenry will be encouraged to "stay home" rather then go to Washington.