It has only been around two months since President-Elect Trump’s victory and the fervor has not yet climaxed. Understandably, many people are concerned about what a Trump presidency is going to mean; people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, religious minorities, etc., are all frightened because of Trump’s perceived fear mongering during the campaign season. Several my friends fit within these groups, and I can unequivocally say they are in a perpetual state of fear.
I do not want to undermine those fears, because it’s impossible to say what’s coming down the pike. The irony, however, is that the left is united in their fear of government power now that Donald Trump is set to take the White House.
News Flash: Constitutional conservatives and libertarians have been decrying government overreach for generations, and it’s just now that progressives see the monster they have helped create.
Yes, you read that right… the monster you helped create!
Do I mean Donald Trump, specifically? No. I mean the creation of this monstrosity called the federal government that continues to undermine states’ rights and, more importantly, the Constitution.
It’s only now that progressives’ “worst nightmare” has come to power that they are worried about a tyrannical government.
This is the very thing that many rallied against; yet, they were (and still are) continually called fear mongers and racists. The echoes for limited government went unheard while our current President continually expanded the reach of the federal government.
Coincidentally, there has been a proliferation of articles about California being the new bastion for states’ rights. There have even been random calls, in some corners, for California to secede; going as far as creating the hashtag #Calexit. While it’s great that the State of California is making it clear that it will protect its citizens from an overzealous federal government, we all know this isn’t going to actually happen. However, the fact that there is any kind of call for it underlines the hypocrisy that exists among coastal ideologues; including (you guessed it) self-important and self-righteous California progressives.
The truth is that California has every right to protect its citizens from federal encroachment. However, the problem is that that California is, and was, completely fine with the encroachment of the federal government when their big government policies were nice and cozy with the burdensome regulations and leftist agenda of the Obama administration.
Other states have repeatedly protested federal encroachment and have drawn the scorn of the left with every “ist” and “ism” under the sun. Many of Trump’s policies, for better or worse, are going to be in direct confrontation with not just California, but other progressive bastions such as New York and Massachusetts, as well. This confrontation will likely happen within the first hundred days on a myriad of issues. What will the response be from these states, when compared to the times other states fought losing efforts against the Obama administration’s litany of burdensome regulations?
It will be one of two things:
- A Mea Culpa, to admit that states should have the ability to exercise power against an encroaching federal government.
- A “Do as we say and not as we do” response; “because we are right and you guys were wrong therefore, the circumstances need to benefit us and our agenda until we can get another uber-progressive in office. Thanks!”
I hope the silver lining in all of this is that we begin to see why our Founding Fathers set up our governmental system the way they did. The truth is that our constitutional rights have been eroding for some time now. This didn’t start with Donald Trump. His victory only shined a light on it. Both Republicans and Democrats created this monster, and now we are all going to have deal with whatever is coming.
The solution is a return to the constitutional principles that empower the states to check the federal government, which is ironically what California is now doing; other states should absolutely do it too!
* Freddie Whitlow lives in the DC area and is a recent graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in history. He is another stereotypical libertarian bitching about the excesses of the federal government, and how free market capitalism actually works. Oh, and how socialism sucks.