In the midst of constant debate about the validity and size and scope of national government in America, one truth shines out!
In time of crisis, it is the fact and the leadership of federal government that has saved us from disaster!
It was the recognition that state and local governments were unable to deal with anarchy and chaos during the period of the Articles of Confederation in the 1780s, which led to the Constitutional Convention and the establishment of a strong national government.
It was the reality that the Union was being dissolved by the secession of the Southern states, determined to protect their evil institution of slavery at all costs, that forced the growth of national government to keep the Union together, promote economic growth, expand the concept of human rights to all groups, and put America on the road to being a world leader.
It was the threat presented by foreign powers in World War I and World War II which required the growth of national government to protect our national security.
It was the national government which came to the rescue at the heights of the Great Depression, when the nation was in danger of chaos and possible turn toward dictatorship of the left or the right, triumphant elsewhere, but prevented by our national government.
It was our national government which had the ability to protect us during the period of the Cold War with the Soviet Union from 1945-1991.
Despite complaints about tactics, it was our national government which was looked to after the horrific attack on September 11, 2001, and has prevented any further attack.
Try to imagine leaving all of these crises to state and local governments, which so often have proved their incompetence, their inadequacy, their shallow nature, their narrow mindedness. We would not have had the history we have experienced, and would, most certainly, be under the control and dominance of foreign powers!
State and local governments have legitimate roles in our federal system, but it is the national government which has been the “hero” in our history, saving us from harm, chaos, and a future that would have been much more difficult than our national experience has proved to be!