The shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise will result in a renewed call for unity and cooperation across the political spectrum, and some will demand that national political leaders “do something” to stop politically inspired violence.
This will be a mistake. The troubles in our society are not the result of inadequate political effort, or inability of us all to work together. The troubles in society are because too many things have become overly political, and winners of elections use their voting success to force their agenda on the losers.
Since the start of the progressive era, power over society has expanded and become increasingly consolidated with the central government. There is too much at stake with the outcome of a central government election, and this is the source of our conflict.
To survive as a nation we must decentralize. There are problems and human needs that need to be addressed through government, but it has been a mistake to allow the central government to accumulate so much power. We’ve ignored the 10th Amendment, and a central authority completely divorced from the daily reality of people from Brooklyn to Boise now rules most meaningful aspects of our lives.
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So no matter who wins, we have hatred and now violence directed at people who are part of that central authority. We will all be better off in a future with less central political power. If we want less conflict, and less risk of additional violence, decentralization is the choice.
Jim DeLong, State College