Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
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The Fatal Flaw
by David Stanowski
16 June 2019
When the Founding Fathers decided to scrap the Articles of Confederation (1787) and replace them with a Constitutional Republic (1789), they truly created the ideal government. The new "federal government" allowed the States to retain most of the functions of government, and it included three co-equal branches, to maintain a "balance of power", with a Bill of Rights, to prevent abuses of fundamental human rights.
On paper, it was the "perfect" government; so what could possibly go wrong? Tragically, the Founders did not recognize its fatal flaw, but after more than two centuries of operation, it is painfully obvious.
The Constitutional Republic that they created provided the infrastructure to create an authoritarian central government, so the corrupt and power hungry have used it to do just that! They quickly found many ways to circumvent the safe guards that the Founders had so responsibly included. (Note: The 2018 Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index lists 21 countries as less corrupt than the United States!)
Due to its size and its distance from the people it rules, Americans have become mere "statistics" to the federal government, so there is little reluctance to pass burdensome and oppressive laws and regulations; laws and regulations that often don't apply to the rulers who create them. In addition, with federal representatives and bureaucrats isolated and protected in a privileged capital city, they rarely have to actually face the people who they harm with their actions.
Although America's free market still makes it appear healthy and prosperous, the government behemoth that rules over it has evolved to the point where it now threatens its remaining productive vitality and all of the fundamental freedoms "protected" by the Bill of Rights.
The ONLY WAY to end this Orwellian nightmare is to completely de-centralize government. The States must once again govern everything that was not specifically delegated to the federal government in 1789. This will allow every State to custom tailor the way they govern to fit the needs of their residents, and only their residents. With the States acting independently, there would no longer be any need to reach unhappy "compromises" on contentious issues such as abortion and gun rights. California could handle these issues their way and Alabama its way.
However, de-centralization cannot end at the State level. Today, most States have little consensus within their borders on how to govern themselves. This means that many States will need to split into two or more regions so that each region can achieve more consensus in governing philosophy than the original State can as a whole.
Likewise, counties and cities are already demanding more independence and autonomy in how they govern themselves, regardless of what their State capital is ordering them to do.
If the American Experiment is to survive into the next century, it must evolve into a collection of independent city-states, that are free to form mutually-beneficial alliances, and limit the federal government to national defense, a common currency and inter-state matters.