The Constitution's stated purpose is to create "a more perfect union." but what if our union has become too perfect? what if our national government has become too powerful? what if our states are losing the very rights and freedoms that made our country what it is?
"States' rights" has become a dirty phrase in American politics. Over the past few decades, especially since the civil rights movement, liberals have been amazingly successful in painting states' rights as a smoke screen for racist repression. It is a convenient way to demonize small government conservatives and tar them with the brush of segregation.
Yet as Adam Freedman reveals in this surprising and essential book, states' rights has been an honorable tradition a necessary component of constitutional government and a protector of American freedoms since the birth of our nation. In fact, states' rights has historically been the rallying cry for just about every cause progressives hold dear: the abolition of slavery, union rights, workplace safety, social welfare entitlements, and opposition to war.
In A Less Perfect Union, Adam Freedman provides an illuminating history of states' rights, from the Constitutional Convention through the Civil War and the New Deal to today. He reveals how hard the Founders fought to keep power in the hands of the states, the surprising role of states' rights as a weapon against slavery, and the federal government's eventual abandonment of all constitutional limitations on the scope of its power. Surveying the latest developments in Congress and the state capitals, he finds a growing sympathy for states' rights on both sides of the aisle, as the federal government usurps more and more control.
But Freedman goes further, boldly arguing that a return to states' rights is the only way to check the tyranny of federal overreach, take power out of the hands of the special interests and crony capitalists in Washington, and realize the Founders' vision of freedom. With concrete policy proposals, A Less Perfect Union lays out an achievable vision of a nation in which states are free to address the health, safety, and economic well-being of their citizens without federal coercion and crippling red tape.
As states' rights issues continue to drive the national conversation as we approach 2016 and beyond, A Less Perfect Union is essential reading for anyone frustrated by the federal government's daily infringement of the quintessentially American right of local self-government."