It really is a fundamental difference in ideology between the two parties. Liberals believe that the federal government should at least take a passing swipe at making things easier for the less fortunate among us, while the Republicans take a more “lift yourself up by the bootstraps” attitude of individual responsibility, and any assistance should come from the state or local level.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that the national GOP has literally spent decades campaigning on a platform of hearty, almost exclusive states rights. Not only have they championed states rights, but they have found it a very convenient hammer to slam down on the head of anything that they personally don’t like.
Should the women of this country have the right to an abortion? That’s up to the states to decide! Should every citizen have the right to healthcare coverage? Hey! They live in a state, don’t they? Let the states figure that out. Should background checks be universal for gun sales? Nope, every state can decide the level of citizen arming they want. Should gays be allowed to marry, and enjoy the same receptions as everybody else? Not our call, let the Governors and state legislatures decide. The Republican party is madly, passionately, Trump horn dog style in love with states rights. Right up until the moment it becomes inconvenient.
States and cities across the country have made the simple, jurisdictional decision to not force, nor even allow, their local police to assist ICE in rounding up undocumented immigrants for deportation. What?!? They can’t do that! Cut off their federal grants for law enforcement until they come to their senses! States have passed laws that tell those states bakers and caterers that they have to feed gay wedding parties, just like straight ones? What?!? We’ll let the Supreme Court tell them that they can’t do that. So, there! How’d that feel?
Nowhere is the GOP’s hypocrisy regarding states rights more brazen or evident, than in the building of Trump’s stupid vanity wall. One would think that the single, most fundamental right that a state could have is to determine what can and can’t be done with its own, physical land. Apparently not when it means that His Lowness can’t play with his toys.
In failing to override the $1 store Caligula’s veto on congress stopping his emergency declaration to build a wall, what Trump and the GOP congress by default has said is that not only does the state not have a say on what goes on their land, but individual, private landowners will have to accept whatever paltry sum the federal government decides is fair compensation under eminent domain, to allow the construction of a wall the majority of the residents don’t want. If there are two emptier words in the Republican dictionary than “states rights,” I quake to hear what they are.
The true test of the ideological chops of a political party is not what their core principles are, it’s what the party does when adhering to one of those principles becomes personally or politically inconvenient for the party. And in the age of Trump, the GOP has not only failed the test, they’ve been expelled from kindergarten. From this point on, anybody who hears the words “states rights” slip from a Republicans lips without rolling their eyes, is probably wearing a MAGA hat.