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Let Texas be Texas: A solution for our polarized nation




Why not let states experiment? Reps. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, and Chip Roy, R-Texas, write:

[I]f Massachusetts wants socialized health care in their own state, why not let Massachusetts be Massachusetts? If Texas decides that health care freedom is the way forward, why not let Texas be Texas?

The federal government has increasingly claimed the authority to enforce one-size-fits-all policies on the states, but that was not the original plan. James Madison explained that the “powers delegated by the…Constitution to the federal government are few and defined” and were largely contained to areas like “war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” But the powers “which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

This system – called federalism – puts the federal government in charge of areas that it can handle better, like national defense and border security. It would not make sense to have fifty states controlling their own separate nuclear arsenals, after all. But most issues – like health care, education, disaster recovery, etc. – are not easily managed by a sprawling bureaucracy thousands of miles away from our state.

This is largely because you have more control over issues run by your state and local governments. Your vote in the 2016 presidential election was one of about 130 million. That’s more than 15 times the number of votes cast in the most recent election for governor of Texas – not to mention your latest city council election. Deciding important issues closer to home makes government more responsive to the people it affects.

Federalism also protects states from each other’s ideas. Programs that work well in Texas might not work well in Massachusetts. Federalism means they don’t have to.

And in our era of increasing polarization, federalism can allow Americans with very different political beliefs to coexist in the same nation. Deciding an issue on the national level leaves no escape for the losing side, fueling the bitterness and dysfunction we see today.

[Michael Cloud and Chip Roy, “Let Texas Be Texas: A Solution for Our Polarized Nation,” The Hill, May 20]


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  1. Great post. Conservatives need to rediscover Federalism, State sovereignty, Nullification and the 10th Amendment. I believe it is the only relatively peaceful way forward for us to coexist in this massive(& diverse) country of ours.