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Democrats are seeking to turn the nation into one massive blue state

Democrats are seeking to turn the nation into one massive blue state
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Liberal control over Congress has resulted in a number of measures that shift state and local autonomy to bureaucrats in Washington. The original framework and special function of the Constitution is slipping away into increasing federal control of elections, taxation, and other aspects of our society. The sudden concentration of power goes far. Increasing federal control through direct and indirect means has more in common with what a banana republic may use to control foreign owned industry, in this case, seizing local political power and giving it to federal agencies.

Most Americans associate the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill with $1,400 stimulus checks, but the legislation also grows federal influence by giving Washington a significant level of control over state budgets. Governors who made poor decisions for years, burdening their budgets with bloated pensions and public payrolls, are bailed out by federal dollars to the tune of billions. But governors who showed fiscal restraint and built surpluses cannot use the windfall if they seek to spur economic growth by cutting taxes. Moreover, the majority of local aid through the Cares Act has not been used yet, but the federal government mandates states to use the new money to grow the size of their local government.

States may soon lose the authority to administer elections. The For the People Act proposes broad changes to election laws, making federal the worst practices of blue states ushered in by the pandemic, while robbing states of power to create and enforce their election laws. The legislation overrides voter identification laws, forces states to accept affidavit ballots without voter identification, strips the witness verification signatures on absentee ballots, legalizes vote harvesting, and mandates states to send out automatic absentee ballots without verification each cycle.

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It also mandates states to register voters without consent. If a citizen fills out a social services or Department of Motor Vehicles form, he or she is automatically registered. The bill faces opposition in the Senate and may not make it in its current form. However, there is a realistic chance that a reduced version of the plan will pass, or that a strengthened majority of Senate Democrats may pass it as it stands after the next election.

States and cities also face federal policing mandates in the Justice for George Floyd Act passed by the House. It overrides qualified immunity across the country while creating a national database of police incidents. It also empowers the Justice Department to prosecute officers at the state and local level, opening the possibility of federal investigations driven more by national press coverage than facts on the ground.

Even more liberal state ventures face the chopping block. Hopes of the new administration relaxing the federal prohibition on marijuana met with rude reality as the White House reportedly fired staffers for prior marijuana use even in states where it is legal. The careful and gradual legalization of the substance in states is now overridden at the federal level.

Further, President Biden and his allies have also enacted some of the most dramatic reversals of local autonomy in recent memory, and they are likely just getting started. Even a watered down version of the Green New Deal would suppress fracking, severely restrict oil and natural gas extraction, and set a federal tax on carbon emissions. Local energy policy would be overridden while states like Texas would face an economic crash.

Legislation like a proposed Senate renewal of the assault weapons ban would prohibit the manufacture and sale of around 200 types of rifles, destroying efforts of states to ease gun restrictions. On the campaign trail, Biden also signaled support for restricting funds for single family housing, forcing local officials to adopt new zoning to get funds. The White House may also use federal funds to coerce public schools to include a “critical race theory” component in education.

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The idea of the laboratories of democracy is more than a slogan. Each state creates its own policy based on its special geography and distinct population. Yet in the leftist vision for the country, Texas would not be allowed to be Texas, and Florida would not be allowed to be Florida, but rather the entire country would start to become one massive version of New York or California with much less room for variation.

A monopoly on policy and authority overrides the restrictions on federal power enshrined in the Constitution. Such restrictions may become mere suggestions as left wingers, hungry for power, continue and accelerate their efforts. The famous idea of Benjamin Franklin of “a republic if you can keep it” is now in great peril with Democrats in control.

Kristin Tate is a libertarian author and an analyst for Young Americans for Liberty. She is a Robert Novak journalism fellow at the Fund for American Studies. Her newest book is “The Liberal Invasion of Red State America.”