We The People in all we do, reserve the right to scream “F*ck you!”
– Kid Rock
In a week, Americans will once again go to polls, focusing mostly on national elections for representatives in Washington, D.C. Given the raft of special interests and the entrenched unelected federal bureaucracies and judiciary in D.C., however, it is unlikely much will change – “red tsunami” or not.
For weary Americans, Washington provides few if any solutions to their problems. In fact, it usually makes things worse. So as the Declaration of Independence reads, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [ruling with the consent of We the People], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” State and local races provide a legal and bloodless path to this end.
Federal overreach is impossible without local officials’ complicity. Police, judges, district attorneys, and other local bureaucrats are needed to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, health mandates, business shutdowns, and the associated penalties. Without boots on the ground, federal diktats – whether from Congress, the White House, or government agencies – are toothless.
Despite the power of local officials, Americans rarely turn out to vote for them. Local judges often run unopposed. Gubernatorial elections – particularly primaries – also have low turnout. But conservatives can change that.
Sheriffs and other local officials provide the antidote to Washington’s faceless bureaucrats, bought-and-paid-for politicians, and the constant stream of arbitrary laws and mandates. Local officials are directly beholden to their constituents. In smaller communities, they must keep warm, close relations with their neighbors if they want to stay in office. Running roughshod over your neighbors’ rights is a good way to lose an election and get everyone to hate you.
Local officials have already pushed back against state-level laws. Upstate New York sheriffs have refused to enforce the latest round of state gun laws, while Florida sheriffs refused to enforce mask mandates. It’s now time to take this war to the feds.
Governors and their secretaries have already been doing it. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis blocked Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate, protecting Floridians from losing their jobs. The IRS has stated it will monitor all bank transactions over $600 – you know, to make sure the billionaires pay their fair share. Yet, Nebraska’s state treasurer said he would defy the policy in 2021.
Local officials and governors can adopt the same posture against the Washington bureaucratic-security apparatus – agencies like the ATF, FBI, IRS, etc. A good constitutional sheriff can not only refuse to enforce gun laws – he can arrest ATF agents performing unconstitutional searches or confiscations on civilians. This might seem a bit radical, but Missouri’s Mercer County passed just such a law allowing it in 2021. And we’ve seen it in practice in Ohio – just look how quickly the ATF agent’s tough-guy act dropped when confronted by local law enforcement.
Local and state officials can do the same with the FBI. If the agency is harassing and arresting innocent Americans on trivial charges, a strong governor could tell the agency to pack its bags and get out. Kari Lake of Arizona has already hinted at moving in this direction.
No doubt, Washington and the American Left will scream about federal supremacy and threats to democracy. We have seen this with attempts to federalize elections (despite the Constitution giving states control of elections) and the subsequent GOP pushback with election integrity laws such as voter ID. The message is clear: States and people acting within their constitutional powers are threats to democracy and the rule of law.
Yet, the American Left has also argued for cities and states to ignore federal immigration law – and quite successfully. They turned California blue for crying out loud. They have even advocated for non-citizens voting! Conservatives would simply be turning the Left’s own tactics against them.
But the battle doesn’t stop after the midterms. Citizens must continue raising hell at town halls and county meetings. More importantly, they must run for these bodies, replicating the strategy against radical ideology in schools. Orange County, California, banned CRT because angry parents showed up. Democratic Miami’s school board now leans conservative because two DeSantis-backed candidates decided enough was enough. If parents can fight the bureaucrats and win (in California of all places), conservatives can do it for any issue.
The only thing stopping Conservatives from opposing federal overreach is a misplaced loyalty to Washington and a failure to realize what the Founders understood – Washington was never meant to provide one-size-fits-all solutions to 50 diverse, sovereign states. We the People were meant to manage our problems through our local officials and representatives.
The Founders left us federalism — the decentralization of government to the states and the people — at its finest. That is the real threat to Our DemocracyTM the D.C. swamp fears so much. Without local lackeys to control states and rule over citizens like kings, the leaders of the D.C. security state have no reason to exist.
Just like that, Washington D.C. will be completely irrelevant to our daily lives outside of its enumerated constitutional responsibilities. All we have to do is show up and not back down.
So this midterm election, research your local and state officials on the ballot. Vote for those who aren’t afraid to tell the feds to beat it. Merrick Garland can’t arrest all 330 million of us. Once we have neutered the federal behemoth, we can send Washington’s bureaucrats to the unemployment line where they belong.
Michele is the Daily Caller opinion editor and a historian by training.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.