Paul David Miller: Let’s Resurrect The Federalist Party
The progressive left undermines the culture of self-government through the relentless growth of government, particularly the federal government and the executive branch. Progressives grow government because it serves as the primary instrument for the coercive propagation of their ideology and the reengineering of American society according to their utopian blueprint. Progressives’ willingness to use legal force to reengineer American culture endangers basic principles of self-government, civil liberties, and American democracy.
The Trumpist, quasi-fascist right undermines self-government and human dignity from the opposite direction. It assaults human dignity through racism, xenophobia, and its demonization of political opponents and minorities. It undermines self-government through its open adulation of authoritarianism, contempt for checks and balances, and admiration for executive “strength.”
There is a silver lining, as Rachel Lu helpfully points out. The increasingly evident dangers of the two extremist movements may teach Americans to value their heritage of limited government, checks and balances, pluralism, and decentralized power. These values will have to be central to the new political movement that must arise.
There is another principle that was equally vital at the founding and has been gradually discarded over the past century: federalism.
That is why the new movement should take the name of The Federalists. The Democrats and Republicans have both taken as their name political principles important to the American system of government—and we all believe in both of them. But there is another principle that was equally vital at the founding and has been gradually discarded over the past century: federalism.