Nam Hoang Do
State vs Federalism Donald Trump essay
“When Trump has a goal, nothing will stop him”, said Michael Cohen, a lawyer for US President Donald Trump (Fox News Video, July 22, 2016). Is that the truth, that nothing can break off Donald Trump’s goal? Recently, the news have discussed about the connection between Trump and a mode of government. They have mentioned something can interrupt or stop Trump; it is the federalism. The US federalism is hindering Donald Trump’s debatable presidency because federalism is a system that makes power be balanced and prevents the abuse of power; also, states and the people are sympathizing with federalism to make Trump have no more controversial policies.
Firstly, liberals, progressives and cities are expanding their arms with federalism to stop Trump from deporting undocumented immigrants. For example, Source 2 and Source 1 say,”(…) it’s a principle that liberals and progressives are embracing with open arms, as Democratic-leaning states and localities mobilize to shield themselves from federal policies they consider retrograde or just plain damaging to their residents and interests. Hand over undocumented immigrants to Trump’s deportation machine? Perish the thought.” and “A number of cities have pledged to continue protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation roundups despite Trump’s threats to cut off their federal funding”. These examples mean the people and cities are relying on federalism, a principle that can help protect themselves and their residents from damaging federal policies. It also hurts this debatable executive order of Donald Trump, the deportation of illegal immigrants. I think the liberals, progressives and cities are not only brave due to using federalism to protect themselves and their residents against “executive overreach” of the President even though the risk of federal government, but also smart because federalism is a strong principle to help them do that.
Secondly, some states have grasped the federalism in implementing “laboratory of democracy” experiments to against policies of the President which are enforced for the whole country. In Source 1, an example of this is “States such as Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts, at least, have walked the federalist walk, with pioneering “laboratory of democracy” experiments in same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana, mass transportation initiatives, protections for Dreamers, and universal health care that eventually became national law”. This example illustrates that the states have followed federalism system to try the new social and economic experiments without danger to other states. I think that if more states try “laboratory of democracy” experiments, it will clearly be a challenge for Donald Trump’s presidency because he would no longer be able to issue controversial policies which would be enforced throughout the country.
And yet, some people may believe the federalism is helping Trump at some points. For instance, Source 4 says, “(…) they (the framers) established an unstructured office with ambiguous authorities. Article II vests the president with “executive Power,” but it doesn’t define the term, and it gives the president only a few rather modest enumerated powers. Trump has used these vague powers almost in opposition to the memory of George Washington, and our nation has suffered.” This means Trump can take advantage of the ambiguity in empowering for the president, which is vaguely saied in the Constitution, federalism, to abuse power. I think that is irrelevant and invalid because the founders tried to create the Constitution and the federalism to prevent the power from concentrating on one branch, especially executive branch. They have deliberately limited the power of the president by letting the president to do only what the Constitution allows them. Therefore, basically, federalism is hindering, not helping any president, including Donald Trump.
In conclusion, the unpredictable presidency of Donald Trump has caused controversies about the policies and authority, federalism has helped the states and people against it. The fact that states, cities, liberals, and progressives are falling in love with federalism is a blow to the presidency of the current US president. It is clear to see that the federal government or a president are no exceptions, if they issue unreasonable policies or ideas that against the people and states, then the people and states will have ways to hinder them. The federalism is the way that can fight against the President and prove Michael Cohen’s idea, that nothing can stop Trump, is very false.