25.10.17

YOU SAY YOU WANT A DEVOLUTION?

That's long been a Cold Spring Shops theme, and if an unusual presidency tarnishes the appeal of the Cult of the Presidency, that's a good thing.

You'd expect Scott Rasmussen to pick up on such a thing.
President Trump has been rolling back regulations rather than giving more power to bureaucrats.

If the political class worldview was correct, the economy should be tanking. But it's not. In fact, consumer confidence is at a 13-year high; people are feeling better about their personal finances and businesses keep generating more jobs.

This is good news for America, but not for the political class. It's further proof that they're not as important as they think they are. For many in official Washington, highlighting the irrelevance of their work is President Trump's unforgivable sin.
That's only tangentially about the presidency, yes, but the Importance of the Presidency is in Appointing the Proper Credentialed Experts to Protect the Public Interest.

Reason's J. D. Tuccille sees in the Poisonous Washington Partisanship reason to, oh, claim the Powers that are Properly Reserved to the several States.
If Americans are divided and factionalized along lines of ideology, lifestyle, culture, and geography, then we could devolve political decision-making down to the state, local, and (best of all) individual level.

If I remember right, that was called "federalism" when the Constitution was first adopted for a diverse country in which people disagreed on a variety of issues and didn't relish the prospect of a lot of one-size-fits-all policy-making. The solution then was to let people disagree and generally govern themselves without dominating one another. It was an imperfect system, for sure, but it averted a lot of conflict.

Some version of that decentralized approach to politics would seem to be in order now, so that people don't have to live subject to rules they dislike cooked up by people they detest.
And Joel Kotkin, a City Journal regular, suggests that the states continue to be little experimental laboratories.

Now comes Tom Dispatch's John Feffer, contemplating a fourth great shattering.
What’s the point of making the necessary compromises to function in a diverse nation-state when you can effectively secede from society and hang with your homies in a virtual community?

Given the polarizing impact of economic and technological globalization, it’s no surprise that the politics of the middle has either disappeared or, because of a weak left, drifted further to the right. Donald Trump is the supreme expression of this stunning loss of faith in centrist politicians as well as such pillars of the institutional center as the mainstream media.
Perhaps, or perhaps smaller platoons with greater internal harmony can coexist with other small platoons with different public priorities.

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