The Sweep of History Back Towards Federalism
~150 years ago, an agrarian, Jeffersonian South waged war against an industrial, corporatist North. Federalism, where each State delegated some portion of its sovereignty to a central government, was diminished in response to the South's rash secession. Subordinating the states was justifiable as a response, and, as appropriate, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, issued the Gettysburg Address, and used the Federal government's authority to win the war and preserve the Union.
Lost were the fine points of the South's arguments put forth by men like Randolph and Calhoun, where States jealously guarding their ability to tend to its citizens in ways both local and traditional. With the ratification of the 16th and 17th amendments and the Federal Reserve Act passed, Washington D.C. was enshrined as the central source of power in America. Lacking cash, principle, and a morale mandate, the States had no recourse against Wilson's Progressivism or F.D.R's sweeping, bureaucratic Proceduralism.
Now, Progressivism and Proceduralism have reached their logical nationalized limit - health care, insurance, banking, market regulation, and energy taxes build upon nationalized education policy, drug policy, and social safety nets. What was once arguably compassion has turned into an excuse to reinvent Lincoln himself, less the mandate or moral clarity involved in preserving the Union and abolishing slavery.
With the election of an African American President, surely it is time to revisit the issue of State's rights, now undeniably free of the specter of slavery. We should revisit the 16th Amendment and its support of national income tax, and repeal the 17th Amendment, effectively re-energizing state legislatures in their long argument with an effete and ineffective U.S. Congress. In short, it is time to reestablish the States as equal partners, willfully participating in a Federalist system.