You know, I talk a good game about how “the American experiment in federal democracy is collapsing under it’s own weight” and “we live in the beginning of the collapse of the American Empire”, but maybe it’s time for me to walk the walk. What do I know anyway? If I’m so smart, why don’t I fix it, huh? Well, I can’t Make America Even A Little Bit Functional Again, but I can talk about how I would do it. I’m going to run through what I see as the major flaws in the current American governmental structure and lay out two plans to correct them, one a minimalist reform and one a maximalist. Please note that I’ll be discussing only constitutional and governmental structures, not the policies I would wish the government to implement once established. Now, let’s begin.
America is a country screwed up in many, many ways, but I believe most of our current governmental dysfunction can be traced to Federalism Run Amuck. Everyone knows the story of our Glorious Founding Fathers and how they compromised between states rights and federal power to protect the sovereignty of the smaller states, yadda, yadda, yadda, etc, etc. All well and good. But what made sense once as the compact between a group of semi-independent states has become increasingly untenable as state population disparities grow larger and larger due to the growth of urbanization. For example: “By 2040, 70 percent of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states, which are also home to the overwhelming majority of the 30 largest cities in the country. By extension, 30 percent of Americans will live in the other 35 states. That means that the 70 percent of Americans get all of 30 Senators and 30 percent of Americans get 70 Senators.” (Source). Rural states are also especially privileged by the Electoral College and the artificially-restricted number of Representatives.
This dynamic of disenfranchised cities plays out internally as well, with states like North Carolina and Texas designing their legislative and congressional maps specifically the break the power of the urban majorities, rendering them impotent.