In the fullness of time, we will know whether the increasing concentration of power in the federal government was simply foolish or whether it actually destroyed our freedoms. The scope of the government is virtually impossible to get one’s arms around because it is so secretive, distant, and complex. As Obama-care, The Affordable Care Act, demonstrates, the federal government can’t even run a website much less give us affordable care. The only talent the federal government consistently demonstrates is to secretly and systematically violate our Constitutional rights, engage the country in unjustified wars, debase our currency, and protect powerful interests.
The federal government has a role to play. Fielding an army and floating a navy doesn’t need to be done by fifty states. However, government is best when it is closest to the people. It is more responsive and efficient. It is less complex and so when stressed it is more resilient. Corruption is far easier to detect because it is closer to home. We have three options. We can either reform the beast. We can let the beast completely dominate us. Or the beast could, suddenly or gradually, collapse. Of those three outcomes, only the first offers us an opportunity to control our destiny.
The real tragedy is that we are in the middle of a real “CRISIS” as defined in the book THE FOURTH TURNING. This is when the chickens finally come home to roost. Problems that seemed unsolvable are solved. Wars that are fought are fought completely. Political parties, business practices, laws, religious institutions, etc. are changed for a new order. In American History, our Fourth Turnings have been more positive than negative: The Revolutionary War; the Civil War; and World War 2/ Great Depression. But happy endings aren’t what characterizes a Fourth Turning, but rather the decisiveness with which the country reacts. Losing a war decisively, splitting a country apart, or losing one’s freedoms are outcomes that are equally possible.