03.28.2019 0

Tale of two countries

By Rick Manning

The State of Maryland failed by one vote in the Senate to pass assisted suicide legislation to go along with trying to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour ending more than 90,000 jobs and pushing business across the river to Virginia.

California now prohibits all gun sales to anyone under 21 years of age, while they are actively moving to change the state Constitution to allow 16 year olds to vote. They have banned restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless requested by the customer, but have a state law shielding illegal aliens who have broken other laws from being handed over to the federal government for deportation.

New York passed a law allowing for a child to be killed after it had been born. Economically, Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policies against both the natural gas production in the state and prohibiting new gas pipelines from being laid have had the predictable effect of forcing the end of new building permits in the New York City suburbs allowing inexpensive natural gas hook ups, due to a government created shortage of the abundant energy source. But while the New York government is seeking to squeeze the energy pipeline, they are also moving closer to adding firearm confiscation laws to their myriad of ownership restrictions.

Meanwhile the Republican Governors of Iowa and South Dakota each signed laws which restrict abortions. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a fetal heartbeat bill into law (an Iowa judge overturned it) which would have prohibited abortions once a heartbeat could be detected.  South Dakota’s Kristi Noem signed legislation requiring that a sonogram be given and the images presented to the mother prior to the performance of any abortion.

Governors of Oklahoma, South Dakota and Kentucky all signed legislation affirming citizens right to carry firearms without the need for a permit. This brings the total number of constitutional carry states to 16 nationwide — a long way from when I was the NRA state liaison in 1987 helping local Florida powerhouse lobbyist Marion Hammer pass groundbreaking concealed carry license legislation.

See a pattern?

Hard left coastal states are aggressively pushing their agendas just as conservative middle America states are seeking to expand freedom while protecting life.

While Congress has experienced frustrating gridlock where both sides of the aisle representing the left-wing coastal areas and the vast area between them respectively grapple creating government shutdowns over immigration and other policy differences, the states don’t have the same restraints.

The liberal-conservative divide that many bemoan during national elections demonstrates itself most clearly on issues like gun ownership and abortion.

Many pundits and commentators focus on the divide between the political parties in Congress, while, at least on the conservative side of the aisle, the people back home are electing state representatives who are far more likely to take action that reflects their constituent’s values.  The genius of our constitutional government with federalism is that as originally designed this is exactly what was supposed to happen. Federal primacy was restricted and states passed legislation that would never have been able to pass Congress.

On the other hand, when the peoples of the various states finally decided that they no longer shared values with their neighbors and that their differences had become irreconcilable, brother fought brother in a four-year Civil War.

Are we reaching that abyss once again?

Anyone who has been to Antietam, Gettysburg or any of the other great battlefields from 150 years ago knows the awful result of attempted violent dissolution of the union.  Yet, we now look at the gaping differences between the states on issues that both sides view as moral imperatives in modern America, and cannot help but wonder if this Republic can be saved.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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