Federalism and Fred Thompson

In late 2007, a call amongst conservatives rang out for a Fred Thompson for President candidacy.  Thompson, a former Republican United States Senator from Tennessee and character actor from such television and movie ventures as Law & Order and Die Hard 2, answered that call and ran for the Republican nomination for President in earnest in late 2007.  Despite the ballyhoo surrounding his entrance into the race, Thompson’s campaign sputtered along and by the end of January 2008, his campaign ended.  The following video is one of a series of talking point vignettes that were designed to introduce Thompson to the public who were unfamiliar with his political views.  This video deals with federalism.  Federalism is the sharing and distribution of power and resources between the federal government and the states.  You can also add “…and the local governments” when you discuss the separation of powers between the levels of government.  In the video, Thompson speaks from a decentralist point of view.  This view contends that the Constitution is a compact among the sovereign states which gave the central government a limited framework to work from.  Those who oppose such a framework would be centralists.  Centralists see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and that the states are not the representative of the people.  Centralists claim that the representative of the people is the national government.  Take a listen to what Senator Fred Thompson has to say on the matter of federalism.

Where do you stand on the idea of federalism?  What are thoughts on what Fred Thompson had to say in 2007 about federalism?

3 responses to “Federalism and Fred Thompson

  1. I am in agreement with Thompson views on Federalism. I too believe that while we certainly need the role of the government, it is to what extent we need them that needs to be examined and ultimately controlled. I would say that Thompson’s comments are even more compelling during this election than in the one he previously ran in. Many would say that they government has become much too involved over the last four years.

  2. Dennis Kapelinski

    I believe Fred Thompson is correct when he says the Courts and Congress lose sight of their boundaries after delineated powers. The Federal Government is an absolute necessity for protecting our country and the safety of its people. Agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Postal Service, Social Security Administration and the Department of Agriculture are necessary and beneficial for the people. Problems arise when the government steps into that gray area and takes control of matters exceeding their authority. Affordable Healthcare is at the forefront of current debate. This maybe the subject of Thompson’s reference concerning the courts and Congress losing sight of their boundaries. If I remember correctly, in summary, President Obama’s mandatory healthcare was not a tax, but a penalty would be levied on those who failed to comply with the mandate. Favors and promises were supposedly made to obtain the necessary votes to pass the legislation that was not very popular. The Supreme Court was asked to render a decision on the legality of the act. The Court ruled that as a form of taxation, Congress has the authority to enact the legislation which is legal under the Constitution. What makes these series of events ludicrous? Businesses do not approve of the mandate, many people are opposed to it, and some lawmakers are vowing to have it repealed. Did the President, Congress and the Courts lose sight of their boundaries? Did manipulation play a part in obtaining their goal? Has the will of the people been fulfilled?

  3. I completely agree with Thompson’s view of federalism. The Federal Government should have a better checks and balance system. It seems that our Federal Government has grown in power over the past 3 1/2 years. A decentralized view of Federalism allows States and Local Governments to better govern without having to worry about the Federal Government stepping in at every turn.

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