Here's a letter - specific information carefully deleted - from the local Chamber of Commerce. I've got some observations, but here's the letter...
"A Message from the President:
I'd like to thank each of you who took time out of your day on Tuesday, or before to cast a ballot in the election. As I write, the exact balance of power is still uncertain.
There are a few things that are certain. Each of the officials who will represent us in Springfield and in Washington will have to tackle issues such as the health care crisis, energy policy, budget deficits, pension plans and taxes, among others.
The Chamber will continue to reach out and offer to work with all of our officials to find solutions to the challenges we face. We can't do it alone, we need your input and your assistance. I hope you stay informed, stay engaged and stay active. You can't win in a democracy by sitting on the sidelines and the Chamber plans to be an active participant on your behalf.
Sincerely, President and CEO Chamber of Commerce"
OK, so you get the title of the post, right? The last sentence of his letter says it all.
I'd like to focus on the second sentence, second paragraph, and pose the question: how would a government respectful of the balance intended between the spheres handle these issues? Clearly, more effectively than an imbalanced government like the one we have.
God bless James Madison! As I have said many times, well, how about we just go to Federalist 45, shall we? The whole thing is inspiring, but let's focus like a laser on this...
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States. If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. "
Is there a more bulletproof principle of government; is there anything more true that this? Is there a weakness in the design at all, save from the viewpoint of one who places the State above the Person; the same one who values conformity over Liberty? We're in the mess we're in because of a deficiency in self-government and the resulting changes that must have transpired, simply had to, surely as gravity causes the apple to fall from the tree. Only a return to the principles of Federalism can effect the lasting changes necessary to the continued health of the Republic.
I'll re-phrase and second the sentiment: you can't win in a republic sitting on the sidelines.