Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Anti-Federalists, the Oil Spill, and the Catholic Church

There are lessons of wisdom to be found in every folly, however painful the extraction. The ongoing, almost comic bungling efforts and non-efforts of the federal government dealing with the oil spill in the gulf is no exception. The most important political lesson is both conservative and Catholic.

The conservative lesson? When dealing with a local problem, a strong national government will invariably act for its own self-preservation, push its own national agenda, and entangle the hapless locals in its own morass of bureaucratic confusion. Insofar as possible, let the local folk do it. They're the best judges of their own particular situation.

For conservatives, this is the wisdom of the Anti-Federalists, those forgotten founders of America who best understood the dangers of increasing federal power at the expense of state and local government. The Anti-Federalists were the stubborn conservative folk who allowed for ratification of the Constitution only if there were a strong Bill of Rights to protect state and local life against encroachments of the federal government.

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