America’s Radical Centrism

Simply stated, federalism is a system of government in which two levels of government control the same territory: an overarching national government is responsible for broad governance, while smaller subdivisions of government (states, counties, cities) govern issues of local concern.  Both levels have the power to make laws, and both have certain levels of autonomy from each other.

In the United States, the Constitution established a system of “dual sovereignty,” which means that sovereign states surrendered many of their powers, as sovereigns, to the Federal Government because it is in a better position to exercise control over those powers.

Some examples of this include the so-called enumerated powers, which describe specific powers that belong to the federal government, and the Supremacy Clause, which assigns the power of treaties with foreign governments to the central authority, and which binds the states and judges in every state to the U. S. Constitution.

US Constitution

The Tenth Amendment reserves all powers to the states so long as those powers are not delegated to the federal government — or, in other words, are not among the Enumerated Powers.  The struggle between these two concepts has been ongoing since the beginning of the United States of America.

One of the earliest battles involved the establishment of a national bank.  Chief Justice John Marshal settled this issue when he declared that Congress could establish “all means which are appropriate” to fulfill “the legitimate ends” of the Constitution.  In essence, the Constitution’s enumerated powers include whatever Congress says they are.

The United States has been spiraling ever since.

Radical centrism has been with us for at least the past sixty years.  By radical, we mean the willingness to implement extremist reforms to our long-held institutions; by centrism, we refer to a belief that genuine solutions require progressive thoughts and actions and that these must be imposed on the states, and the people of those states, even over their objections.  Why?  Because progressive-minded people know better than anyone else.  President John F. Kennedy referred to this as “idealism without illusions.”

What the progressives have done, over a long period, is meld ideas from both the political left and right into a pablum that most Americans find easy to swallow.  They do this, they say, in the public interest.  One example of this has been the argument favoring socialist activism, globalism, and “empowerment.”

Although one will rarely hear a progressive-minded person use the term “radical centrism,” it has become the primary process of shaping the way modern Americans think, how they converse, and how they behave.  If one has difficulty identifying examples of radical centrism, try this on for size: the progressive’s demand for open borders.

America’s traditional frontier disappeared long ago, but now we have a new frontier: the United States’ southern border and the radical centrists (led by President Biden) are using it to wrest power away from border states, such as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.  I’ve not included California because that state is too far gone ever to imagine that it will return to the fold of responsible states.  Leading this charge on behalf of Joe Biden is Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

An attorney by training, Mayorkas has been a DHS insider since 2009.  Cuban born, his family fled Castro’s Cuba and settled in California.  Following law school, Mayorkas served as a US Attorney under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  Typical of how our government works, Mayorkas left government service at the end of the Obama administration and became a place setter with a Washington-based law firm.

He knew he’d be back in the thick of it sooner or later.  It should be no surprise that Mr. Mayorkas’ pollical supporters are also radical centrists: Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson.  Mr. Johnson is on record saying, “Biden could not have found a more qualified person” to serve as DHS Secretary.

Others, including me, will disagree.  Despite hours of video footage showing enormous crowds of illegal aliens pushing their way into the border states, Mayorkas claims that he has absolute control of our southern border.  If this is, in fact, true, then Mayorkas is telling us that enormous crowds of illegal aliens pushing and shoving their way into the United States are “by design.”

If radical centrists intentionally allow such a large-scale invasion of the United States, then we must wonder, to what end?  What do progressives achieve from such activities?  One argument is that if Congress can decide what their enumerated powers are, then administrations can do it too.

Do progressive politicians want strong, independent, sovereign states, or does it better suit them to have extraordinarily strong centralized control of the United States — in the same way, Mexico exercises its authority, and Russia, and the European Union, and Great Britain?

What should we imagine might happen if Texas Governor Greg Abbot begins to employ the Texas National Guard to regain control over the border?  The answer is simple enough: President Biden would nationalize them, and he’d do it with the blessing of our radical centrist Congress.  Would guardsmen object to nationalization?  I don’t know the answer to this question.  I imagine that if the Texas National Guard mutinied, it would open the door for the federal government to exercise its military authority over several states.

Posse Comitatus?  There is no need to worry about that because radical centrists will always find a way to “justify their ends.”  We may have noticed this inside the City of Washington after 6 January 2021.  It didn’t take Biden long to co-opt Lieutenant General Russell L. Honoré after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the nation’s capital was under attack.  Honoré decided to erect prison wire to curtail Washington residents’ freedom of movement.

The survival of the United States depends on how attuned most voters are to political reality.  We may have supported George W. Bush over Al Gore and John Kerry, but was he materially different from either of those politicians — both of whom are radical centrists?  We must know them by their deeds.

The Patriot Act may have sounded “patriotic,” but was it?  Its effects tell us a different story.  When the progressive party assured us that Joe Biden was a moderate, what did they mean?  I suggest they meant “radical centralist,” a phrase we will seldom hear them use.  For a reason.  God forbid that someone might begin to ask, “What is a radical centralist?”  What would that mean for America?

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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