Free State Movement


woman speaking into a megaphone to protesters
How can a state maintain, or return to, civil and religious freedom?

The United States of America as it was founded and as many of us still imagine it is gone. It has been destroyed, taken over, by an ideology that has created government that has characteristics in direct opposition to the founding principles of the republic. Primary features of our current federal government that are contrary to the founders’ principles include: 1. Immense federal powers of taxation. 2. Immense regulatory power outside the legislative process. 3. The collection and then redistribution of tax dollars to individuals and companies. 4. Judicial process that clearly makes, rather than interrupts, law. 5. Constant, unrelenting participation in foreign adventures.


In general, the ideology that has instituted all the above unconstitutional federal activities is the Progressive Movement, an elitist approach to governance. It is not exclusively Republican or Democrat, but has been driven by both parties to some extent, although the Democratic Party has contributed substantially more to the process than the Republican Party. The general, elitist notion is that a few people who supposedly know best how each and every citizen should live have the power, through the government, to provide order to society. The advantage is supposed to be well ordered life, the disadvantage the loss of some level of personal freedom. The more power the ruling elite has, the less freedom accorded to the average citizen. While the growth of federal power for nearly 100 years has been carefully hidden from public view, in recent years the suggestion that federal power should increase even more has been openly promoted. The rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, both openly Socialist, along with many other political figures has brought the rise of federal dominance of life in this country out of the shadows and into the light. The more subtle accumulation of power over these many years, along with the complicity of the educational and media establishments, has prepared many in our country to embrace a system of government that will deny the most fundamental constitutional rights of the United States of America. In other words, these folks have won the day, they have captured the flag. The fight is over; the Progressives control every real source of federal power in this country. That includes complete domination of the Democratic Party and domination of the establishment arm of the Republican Party (there are a few conservative Republican hold-outs but they have no power).


It has taken the Progressive Movement nearly 100 years to gain control of our country, but it seems clear to me they have accomplished their goal of establishing a ruling class that has a stranglehold on every significant aspect of life in the U.S. They have complete control of the main stream media, the educational system from kindergarten through higher education (except for a handful of private educational institutions), and every level of federal government. Some people call it the Deep State or the Ruling Class. I think of it as the military/industrial/banking/political complex, but it is the bunch of wealthy, powerful elites who have been about the business, for nearly 100 years, of overthrowing democracy for their own gain. The election of President Trump shocked the elitists and they were profoundly frustrated by his refusal to join in the steady march toward their complete domination of life in America. His administration was, though, just a temporary disruption from the inevitable conclusion, complete destruction of the republic.


Most cases in history that have produced such severe loss of personal freedoms have been accomplished with violence. While we have experienced, and continue to experience, some violent behavior as we have moved from a free to elitist society, for the most part the Progressive Movement has gained control with the approval of the American people. The approach has been surprisingly simple; have the government give people all sorts of things, from cell phones to retirement benefits to “free” health care, and tell them they deserve, they are entitled to, everything provided by the government and more. Always more “free” stuff is offered (it is actually not free, of course, someone else has to pay for it). The ordinary people have to be convinced, of course, that others among them have wealth they do not deserve, and it should be taken from those unworthy folks and given to them, who are worthy. Human nature, without appropriate education to the contrary, can always be suckered into giving up freedom for free stuff, especially if it is “deserved”. But, with all that wonderful free stuff I deserve because I live and breathe, the typical, poorly educated citizen does not consider two absolute truths. First, power does corrupt and the greater the power the greater the corruption. Second, a government that has the power to give you everything has the power to take away any and every one of those things they choose to give you. At some point in the process the government will take away the most essential of those “gifts” if a particular citizen does not fall in line with the authorities. Those truths explain why every elitist government in the history of the world has become tyrannical and eventually produces violent revolt by the people subjugated to the rule of the chosen few. You can contend, as uncountable others have through history, that we are different, that this elitist rule will succeed. But it never has been and never will be different. Human nature, as it pertains to the ruler and the ruled has not and will not change. Great power produces tyranny. All the signs are in place. So it will be tyranny, to a much greater degree than it is now, sometime soon in the United States of America.


That is my humble conclusion about the inevitable path of our country and how we have gotten here, and why I believe our country as some of us know it no longer exists. I am certainly not the only person who has that opinion, of course. My next comments, though, may be more unique.


Because our country at large has gone too far down the path of elitist rule to turn back, does not, I hope, mean every part of our country must go down with the larger ship. My suggestion is that a state, or group of states, removes itself from federal processes. By that I am not recommending secession from the union, but a decision to forego all federal monies and reject along with it the federal influence that comes with federal funds. A change in taxation would be essential, of course. The state or states involved would collect federal income tax from its citizens. The citizens would pay federal taxes for only those federal services they continue to use. So, they would pay taxes to support the military, international relations, debt retirement, etc. They would not make contributions for Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps, Medicare or Medicaid, the United States Department of Education, or any of the other social or regulatory federal programs. So, the citizens of this state would pay the appropriate percentage of the regular federal income tax, based on the federal programs the state supports, but would not pay the portion of federal income tax used to fund programs in which they do not participate. It would be essential the states assume responsibility for those federal programs important to their citizenry. So, obviously, state taxes would increase on some level while federal taxes would decrease dramatically.


The states would gain, of course, control over those social and regulatory programs they choose to bring under state management, and they can discontinue as many programs as are deemed appropriate for their state. Federal mandates essentially disappear, allowing each state to structure program according to the specific needs and desires of their citizens. That can accurately be viewed as a return to States’ Rights that were present when the country was founded, and restore systems of operation that are far healthier than the current arrangement.


The federal government now controls our country through the power and intimidation of law. Pay your taxes or go to jail. They also control our country through what is essentially extortion. They take money from the citizens of each state and then tell those citizens what they must do in order to get some of that money back. Should a state be so foolish as to deny the mandate of the federal government they will be denied funds at best, and charged with a crime at worst. It does not matter how contrary the federal mandate is to the best interests of the citizens of any state, it applies to everyone and is irrefutable, outside of costly, lengthy court battles the federal government often wins. We need only consider some of the immigration mandates President Obama imposed on states as examples of the process.


Essentially, the federal government has grown into an immense, all-consuming bureaucracy that is staggeringly inefficient and ineffective in the administration of the vast program over which it has taken charge. That bureaucracy will never limit itself but will, by nature, make every effort to increase its power, control, and influence. It has accomplished that goal to an alarming degree. How can a state break free from federal management that is detrimental to its citizenry? I suggest the only option to break free of federal mandates is the suggestion above. Limit the funds provided to the federal government and deny the federal government the right to interfere in any way with social programs, education, and business and industry in your state. In other words, complete removal from federal programming is the only alternative to the ever increasing reach of the federal government.


Perhaps the “numbers” will simply not add up, particularly since the federal government “pays” for so much of their program with money that does not exist, and states cannot print money as can the federal government. Perhaps the gross inefficiency of the federal government machine will, though, more than make up for the loss of resources that produce the massive federal deficit. If a state or states can make the numbers work this approach could actually result in saving the republic, which cannot survive under the ever growing weight of federal oppression, characterized by unlimited power to tax and distribute or redistribute nearly unlimited resources according to the personal and political goals of the ruling elite. A return to States’ Rights, by removing resources from the federal government, may be the best hope for the survival of the republic.


At the very least a return to States’ Rights by one or more states would provide the option of living in this country outside the constant reach of an all-powerful federal system. Personal responsibility and liberty would be the hallmark of those states. That seems to me a great place to live. Kind of like the entire United States of America was just a few decades ago.


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