Commentary / Coronavirus

Federalism Hits its Peak During Virus

virusThe coronavirus didn’t come with a set of instructions. There’s no contingency plan, no precedent, no lessons learned from past administrations. For once, history can’t teach us how to cope. It can only remind us who we are. And maybe, in a crisis like this one, that’s the most important thing of all.

No one can prepare a president for tragedy. When people look back at Donald Trump, and how he handled this catastrophe, everyone will have their own opinions. He’s a unique leader facing a unique problem — but his solutions, they will realize, were fundamentally American. After years of looking to the federal government for every answer, he reminded the country how it was supposed to work. He is the head of the executive branch, true. But in a nation of 50 different states with different needs, he knew there was only one answer to a disaster this complex: federalism.

Local control and decentralization are quaint ideas to a lot of politicians. For Democrats and even some Republicans, national emergencies are the one time when massive government expansion isn’t just expected — but accepted. So imagine people’s surprise when President Trump, facing an unprecedented challenge with tens of thousands of casualties, takes the less traveled road. Instead of centralizing power, he’s returning it to the states. For once, the Wall Street Journal’s Christopher DeMuth notes with wonder, an administration “seems intent on keeping the crisis from generating a permanent expansion of federal and executive powers.” And, in so doing, is “upending one of the most durable patterns of American politics.”

Trump, DeMuth declares, is “rewriting the book on emergencies.” He’s deferred decisions on closures, testing, treatment to local officials. He’s deregulated decisions on medicine, health care, and interstate commerce. “But mainly, he has given pride of place to federalism and private enterprise — lauding the patriotism and proficiency of our fantastic governors and mayors, our incredible business leaders and genius companies, our heroic doctors and nurses and orderlies, and our tremendous truckers. By shouting out many of them by name and documenting their deeds on a daily basis, he has vivified the American way in action (once reluctantly aroused).”

If people question why he hasn’t issued nationwide orders, he responds simply that the states are all dealing with varying levels of infection and should be empowered to respond appropriately. Together, it’s all resulted in a bifurcation of the states that we haven’t seen in decades. Even Republicans haven’t been immune to the temptations of power-grabbing and expansion. After 9/11, America witnessed a massive growth of government when President George Bush added huge agencies with extraordinary authority. Now obviously, there were some problems that needed to be addressed federally, but this president is pushing the responsibility — along with resources — back to the states and allowing them to craft a response that fits their community.

Of course, as Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) pointed out on “Washington Watch,” that doesn’t mean people appreciate it. “I have to say,” she agreed, “President Trump is going a good job.” But unfortunately, she sighed, “He can’t win.” “On one hand, Democrats and liberals will say, ‘Oh, you need a federal response, you need a federal testing program, you need a federal program to distribute ventilators.’ And, they were complaining, complaining, complaining. I heard this non-stop. And then when the president does say he wants to do something, then it’s, ‘Oh, he wants to be a king…'” People who want to hate him, she argued, are going to hate him no matter what he does.

And what he’s doing, Lesko agrees, is giving our country the chance to be creative and create more competition. “There’s a lot of innovation going on,” she said, because of this deregulation. “My Democratic colleagues think government is answer for everything. I haven’t found one thing — except maybe law enforcement and the military — that the government is better [at] than the private sector. So I’m glad that President Trump and his administration are taking this tactic.”

It’s a refreshing change from the heavy, one-size-fits-all approach of past presidents. And who knows? America may emerge from this privatized, decentralized response more economically stable than we did in past crises. Because, although we’ve had this historic infusion of funding, pushing this back to the states means we won’t be creating new entities that require money in the future. So when this crisis passes, there’s a good chance the increased spending will too. Either way, DeMuth insists, it will “be a great blessing” that, for once, a catastrophe of this magnitude was “managed and subdued with vigorous localism.” It proves that government can provide leadership and still “stay within its constitutional rails.”

Reprinted with Permission from - Family Research Council by - Tony Perkins

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2 years ago

I am very happy ?to have a POTUS who actually serves the American people I truely disdain all the self serving dishonest Politicians who have abused us for years!!!!

2 years ago

Thanks be to God that we have this unique leader, the POTUS?

2 years ago

Government at all levels typically lacks the smallest amount of common sense. Why you might ask? Often, it is because they hire and employ people who have spent more time in the classroom, or an insulated think tank office, than in a real work environment where success usually depends on personal traits such as teamwork, integrity, leadership, honesty, courage, etc…..

2 years ago

SOMEBODY blew this whole Pandemic thing way out of proportion! Most understand that the Continent of China has in total over a billion people. Their Communist leaders care more about being a global Super Power than they do about protecting their own people let alone the rest of the world from the environmental impact they’re having from all their pollution, which is thee NUMBER ONE REASON over a million of their people died from the virus. China should be held accountable for the virus spreading like most other viruses coming from there to the rest of the world. Who knows whether they were experimenting with the virus as a bio weapon and it got out of control. We may never really know. Although the virus is proven to be deadly for the aged and immune compromised, the statistics regarding those recovering are the one’s I’m more interested in. It’s always tragic when we lose loved ones to any disease and I’m saddened by that result, however the results of those infected who have recovered including a hundred and four year old WWII Vet have not been the biased media’s focus along with of course obstructionist Democrats! I believe they have purposely skewed the stats to go along with their own purpose, to ‘not let a good crisis go to waste.’ I pray that when this is over and our country recovers from this that the record will show that Deep State actors used this created crisis to damage President Trump’s chances to win the election in November 2020. China does a lot of back door business with Iran so would explain why Iran was hit so hard. Not completely sure about Italy other than many retired people travel the world and Italy is a hot spot for tourism. Since the elderly are more at risk, that is all I can conclude about Italy, other than that don’t have any other explanation for their high number of deaths. Maybe it’s their Socialized Health care system, who knows? Our country has not suffered so badly thanks to President Trumps closing our borders and banning travel. I believe we would have lost many more elderly and other high risk people if not for that. But it stands that the healthy are being infected and recovering at a higher rate than the media will report. This country never should have been shut down. People should have been instructed to take all the necessary precautions including no visits to retirement homes and none leaving them. High risk individuals stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary. We could have done this!!! Instead, manipulated by ill informed health professionals wanting their name in lights and the push from the Democrat ilk in this country, our administration did what they felt they had to do. Pray Deep State will pay for this when the truth comes out!!

2 years ago

This is a true test for Governors and how they are going to manage this crisis. never before have they faced this kind of situation where they have to manage their state but now have to manage a pandemic. this emergency will seperate the men from the boys and the people are watching.

Bill West
2 years ago

President Trump will never make the Dumbocrats happy. He has done a great job in dealing with the pandemic, in spite of the haters. If Congress would get off their partisan butts and pass needed legislation in a speedy manner, things would go much better for America. If more measures or aid are needed, just pass more bills. Rapid response is more important than getting it perfect the first time! Trump”s mention of the existing drugs that might help were aimed at giving us
some HOPE!

2 years ago

Wonderful article. Trump has been exceptional sticking to the constitution, getting big businesses to help, and leading us. I’ve had it with the press though… mean spirited and their only claim to fame is spreading fear, false rumors, and being incredibly rude to the president.

2 years ago

Yay for the Wall Street Journal’s DeMuth for FINALLY giving some good press and approval to our President, Mr. Trump.
Arizona Rep. Lesko also deserves recognition for her support of President Trump and for calling out the dems for their consistent criticism and disapproval. I sure hope the citizens of the the USA can clearly see the hypocrisy among the enemy party (dems, socialists, elitist liberals who would destroy our country if possible).
God Bless America. Bless President Trump. Keep on trucking, Mr. Trump!

2 years ago

Thank God for a REAL leader…President Trump is a God send.. TRUMP 2020 hands down. The DEMORATS NEED TO DISAPPEARAT LEAST 95%OF THEM. Have to leave room for a very few Democrats that do have a little sense.

2 years ago

The President did a great job of getting enough ventilators thru Federal Govt. Now , he needs to apply all of the Fed help he can to help all of the states in testing. Testing is the way he will get economy back & he should realize this someday soon I hope. And quit throwing out flaming arrows on Adjourn Congress if do not appoint judges & the latest immigration exec order. Focus on the invisible enemy please for a couple more months.

Carol Griffith
2 years ago

I think Trump is doing a great job!! We each need to do our own part, doing our best to keep this virus under control, but Trump is a great President doing his best!!

Gregory Russell
2 years ago

We need a LOT more Americans to realize that freedom and liberty are MUCH more valuable and important than ANYTHING else. I join Thomas Jefferson in his sentiment on this:

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery” – Thomas Jefferson.

2 years ago

I’m so glad we have a leader for our President. I don’t like everything he does but we have never had a perfect president so let’s give the office the honor it is due. The left want everyone to be a victim, but President Trump gives everyone power to use their talents and knowledge to solve problems. As I read in a facebook article, we are not in the same boat but we are in the same storm. He is absolutely correct in leaving solutions to each state. We need more leaders who look to our abilities for solutions as a nation. God Bless President Trump and 4 more years.

Amy Humphrey
2 years ago

These are unprecedented times, to be sure. No one is trained, no one is prepared to deal with this and President Trump is. Not merely battling the Wuhan Virus, but the constant opposition, from within the government, from the media, from the Hollywood elitists, from liberals hellbent on denouncing President Trump’s mere existence. With all that being said, a non-politucian president is rising to the occassion and uniting the working class, if not a few more less vocal supporters, as well. We the People are in uncharted waters, and many, if not the majority of us are appreciative of a President who doesn’t pretend, he merely puts America first, consistently.

Thank you AMAC for being our voice, against all those who wish us silenced!

God Bless us all.
God Bless America!

2 years ago

As a business owner, Trump knows how to delegate and he’s showing that now. Democrats only think about how dictators react and think only they are the ones who can do anything since they look down on the average citizen anyway! And since the left hates Trump, like the article says, nothing he does will stop them from their hatred! And with some states opening their economies, the left is screaming because oh my we can’t have the economy bouncing back anytime soon! Oh no, we have to keep the fear, doom and gloom going until November with all sorts of bad things happening to people so we can blame it all on Trump! I don’t think the American people are that stupid but we will have to wait and see in November if the left’s game works or not. Until then, I’m glad its Trump in the White House and NOT Hillary! We’d be in a police state by now if she were running the show!

Fred J Noel
2 years ago

Gee President Trump a busnessman, not a politician beholden to special inter groups that is the SWAMP of Washington D.C. .

2 years ago
Reply to  Fred J Noel

Thank God, Pres Trump is a businessman who has AMERICA’S Interest at heart He is not ruled by the self servient Politicians, nor does he permit their insane behaviors to control!! TRUMP 2020 MAGA??????

Fred J Noel
2 years ago

Gee President Trump, a businessman is doing all he can do, with many great discussions, given the Democrats opposition him at every step of the way. Thank God he’s not a politician beholden to all the special interest groups in the SWAMP that’s Washington D.C..

2 years ago

I think maybe that is where most of his reasoning lies; in his pinkie. Why should governors BID on emergency supplies and the highest bidder gets them. This isn’t EBAY; this is America. Discrimination because our states mostly vote Democratic. There ARE Republicans in the states. Why should the governors have to BEG him to do his job.? This has been a travesty. and Mitch….saying all our states should declare Bankruptcy???????? states cannot do that legally. I guess he doesn’t know the laws. He lives in Kentucky that lives off the tax money We send to DC. NYC has 8.5Million and NJ has 9 million residents; how many does DINKY Kentucky have in the entire state??????? Get rid of him.

Sharon Harrigan
2 years ago

We all need to pray faithfully for President Trump and for ALL that are in authority. I sincerely pray he will be re-elected.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications,prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for ALL men; for kings and ALL that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all honesty.
I believe we need to pray as well for all those in government who are not supporting the constitution or the Biblical standards upon which our country was founded. I pray that God will work in hearts to MAKE AMERICA GODLY AGAIN!!
Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
We need God to have this nation work.

2 years ago

Sharon I applaud your comment. I too pray for our nation to become a Godly nation. I pray for our President and his administration to led with righteousness. I pray for the hardened hearts that are full of greed and power. Especially for Nancy Pelosi who is out of touch with the real world and common working people.

Lyn Hartman
2 years ago

You are so right, Sharon. Thank you.

Laura Layne
2 years ago


2 years ago

God bless us all and help us?

2 years ago

I pray that all in government not supporting the constitution see the evil of their ways ?. Do NOT RE ELECT THEM?????????

2 years ago

If not for Trump we would be under even more tyranny than our states alone could mandate. This entire pandemic is a crock. More people died from H1N1. Deaths are being blamed on corona that would otherwise be listed as heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, etc. If there is even a hint of covid it is listed as cause of death. Do some research. Did you know WHO gets 2Million a year from private donors and 1M from nation states? The private donors include the Gates foundation for global vaccines and a myriad of pharmaceutical companies? That the same people who are setting up models that have proven to be false for this pandemic are the same people who are paid by these pharmaceuticals and the Gates foundation? That Fauci is part of the deep state? Really, we are being led like sheep to future dictatorship……mandatory vaccines, cashless society, temperature taking for admittance to a store, becoming inured to shortages of goods, etc. This took years to put in place and dovetails directly into globalist plans and desires.

2 years ago
Reply to  DDay

I’ve been saying this all along, one more “thing” to control us. We are losing our freedom and most people are going alone with it. We better wake up or it will be like Nazi Germany.

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