[Ed. – Although I sympathize with some of French’s key points, it bears reiterating that blue-state progressivism is incompatible with the live-and-let-live foundation of federalism. Progressivism and the politics of Trump supporters are not equivalent in this sense. The politics of Trump supporters are mostly — not entirely, but mostly — about being left alone by government. It’s the anger of progressives about having to leave other people alone that is the central problem. Federalism can’t solve it.]
Consider the “pen and phone” Obama presidency. Individual Americans had but one vote out of 120 million, and that was the entirety of their substantive political input to a presidency that bypassed their elected representatives to change everything from national immigration policy to disciplinary policies in their local public schools. All other levels of county, state, and city government were helpless in the face of Obama’s immense accumulated power.
And then, much to the fury of his millions of supporters, many of those changes disappeared before their very eyes — all because a few thousand voters in cities and towns hundreds of miles from their own either stayed home or switched their votes in 2016.
There is nothing healthy about this. And even leaving aside the presidency, there is nothing healthy about the idea that Nancy Pelosi can loom large in Tennessee or that Ted Cruz can loom large in California. The very idea of Cruz’s potential power in San Francisco or Pelosi’s power in Franklin can cause politically engaged Americans to live in a state of near-constant agitation and misery.
Trending: As Joe Biden’s mother would say…