Before I begin I have a confession, I am a Party man. That being said, I have ties to the Liberty movement beginning when I was at Florida State and I am well-versed in Libertarian Theory and the Austrian School. I believe in a concept, which was termed recently “Competitive Federalism”. I first heard the term used by former Senator Jim DeMint at a Gala for the James Madison Institute on Wednesday (March 13th). The Liberty Foundation recently released a report outlining the idea, written by Opportunity Ohio President Matt Mayer, linked above. Senator DeMint described the idea by discussing the on-going competition between Governors Rick Scott and Rick Perry over the State-level Job Creation numbers, working to create a business-friendly regulatory environment (history here and here). This healthy State versus State competition is what our Country needs to revitalize the economy and clean up the statutory mess at both the Federal and State level.
This idea has been something that I have been thinking about for a long time, through my search to define for myself where I stood on the political spectrum. Through college, there seemed to be a constant need for those politically involved or politically interested to define themselves with labels. What I discovered is my views aren’t all that hard to pin down, but there is no true label for them. Personally, I am conservative, but I don’t believe everyone must live their life how I choose to live mine. I espouse the belief that competitive federalism should guide our policy debate; as for many, I believe the Constitution is the guideline for which we were meant to restrain our Federal Government, and I believe the Federal level is not the place for the Social battles unless absolutely necessary.
Some battles are meant to be fought at the State level; if California as a State decides to vote for one issue and I don’t agree with it, I should have the ability to vote with my feet. This would create a much more hospitable environment in the movement as a whole, and open up the floor for the other issues looming over our heads. Winning the battles over these pertinent issues is the only way to move the National Discourse forward. While Social issues are vital to how we live our lives day-to-day, moving them back to the States where possible allows us to build a true coalition for issues such as Tax Reform, Governmental Spending, Education, Transportation, and Trade.
Look for more posts in my series on Labels and defining political views in a changing landscape in the coming weeks.