This perennial question is at the root of just about every political debate we have ever had in this country. The framers of the Constitution spent much of their time laying out the relationships between Congress, the judiciary, and the executive branches. The power of the federal government versus the states is hotly contested even today
The “hottest“ conflict on the latter cost 600,000 lives, but didn’t really settle the issue. Even though the matter of slavery was settled once and for all, the federal government has gradually increased its authority in areas such as marriage, education, and more.
Conflicts with authority of various types, be it royalty, religious, class, or other sorts is rooted in the settlement of our country. We are a nation of rebels, troublemakers, and individualists, and we really don’t like being told what to do.
I would think those who live in large cities are most willing to give up a certain amount of independence in order to get along with others in such close confines.
Those who choose to live in the rural areas develop more individualism if for no other reason than there are fewer social services available.
This trend continues to grow. Parents push against school boards who in turn push against state policymakers who then push against the federal department of education. Textbooks, subject matter, even bathroom policies are all symptoms of the struggle about who’s in charge.
Republican and Democrats alike espouse state’s rights until they discover to their horror some states want to do things differently.
As this division widens it becomes harder to find common ground. Stated in another way, it’s harder to govern fairly, openly, transparently. The loudest complainer gets the most attention from media outlets more interested in selling discord for money.
Is there a solution? Sure. Elect intelligent, honorable, open minded leaders. Unfortunately it’s hard to find any willing to run. After all, who wants to put up with endless criticism and often outright danger just to repeat the cycle every few years?
The Internet was to be the great liberator, allowing everyone a voice. Instead it’s become an echo chamber for the most extreme views in each side. Television and newspapers are no better.
This page is largely filled with negativity without even a hint of optimism, and I’m afraid I’ve contributed to that this week. Hopefully some suggestions for improvement will be forthcoming.