Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

A Sanctuary from Centralization

decentralize, centralize, federal and state and county, power, nullification, distributed

Defiance . . . nullification. It is a trend.

I take it as a sign of our contentious times that we now witness states in open rebellion against centralized control from the Imperial City of Washington, D.C., while cities and counties are also rattling the chains set by their respective state capitals.

The sweep of marijuana decriminalization and legalization is only the most obvious. The rise of “sanctuary cities” defying federal government immigration laws — often backed up by state legislatures — has been a contentious issue, with progressives supporting this sort of nullification and conservatives opposing it.

But the latest development does not hail from the left.

In Illinois, a number of rural governments have taken a cue from the immigration debate by “declaring themselves sanctuary counties for gun owners,” we learn from the AP’s Don Babwin, writing in the Chicago Tribune. “The resolutions are meant to put the Democratic-controlled Legislature on notice that if it passes a host of gun bills . . . the counties might bar their employees from enforcing the new laws.”

An Effingham County Board Member calls “sanctuary” an attention-getting “buzzword,” reporting that “at least 20 Illinois counties and local officials in Oregon and Washington have asked for copies of Effingham County’s resolution.”

Now, cities and counties do not have an analogous relationship to their state governments as do states to the federal government: the states created the “United States of America,” while cities and counties are also state creations.

Yet this move is important. It shows a growing recognition of the tyrannical nature of centralized power.

And the usefulness of decentralization.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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By: CS Admin


  1. John F Brennan says:

    The pendulum swings. Petty tyranny is ignored by most, except its individual and suffering victims.  Eventually incursion or regulation, licensure and market manipulation, as well as the usurpation of personal freedoms and rights become noticed and intolerable by a small but critical mass within the society. 
    We reached that in the 1960’s and appear to be near the cusp of it again. 
    Perhaps this time we will go all the way, decentralization to the least common denominator, individuals. 

  2. Pat says:

    The federal government has to shrink drastically before we can move back to our roots, with most governing taking place at the state and local level.   Who in DC will let that happen?   They have their own livelihoods to safeguard.  As much as many voters may want decentralization, everyone still looks to Washington to solve their problems for them.   A bridge collapses?  Call in the feds.

  3. Trevor Dupuy says:

    Decentralized government is not only important for individual freedom. It is also the most efficient form of government in that it can more readily respond to regional and local differences in topography, natural resources and cultural distinctions and values.

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