Tuesday, April 14, 2009

States' Rights and the Left

Here's an excerpt from an excellent article by conservative commentator Jack Hunter:

So being "backward" or "reactionary" now means questioning the power of government or invoking "horrible" men like Calhoun. And being "progressive" or "forward-thinking" now means fully embracing government and invoking those like Obama and liberal hero FDR.

And yet, I know few liberals who support the War on Drugs, marriage "protection" amendments, or the Patriot Act. In fact, if you talk to the most vocal Leftists about drug criminalization, gay marriage, or the loss of civil liberties, their anti-government rhetoric can sound downright reactionary. "Government has within it a tendency to abuse its powers," Calhoun said. Today, much of the American Left agrees with him.

So how do liberals square their fear of intrusive government with their enthusiasm for Obama? The opposite question could also be asked: how did so many conservatives square their fear of big government with their enthusiasm for President George W. Bush, whose unprecedented spending and increasing of the power of the state set the stage for Obama?

Sadly, most liberals or conservatives never think in such terms. Bush Republicans had no problem with big government so long as their guy was in charge of it, and now the same is true of Obama Democrats.

Some already comprehend the liberal value of states' rights. In an article entitled "The New States' Rights?" published by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007, authors David Davenport and Gordon Lloyd wrote, "Just when you thought federalism was dead, and the 10th Amendment guaranteeing power to the states had been erased from the Constitution, state governments have asserted themselves on an astonishing array of issues traditionally the province of the federal government.

Read the entire article here.

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