RealClearPolicy Newsletters: Original Articles

All Things Will Be Possible

All Things Will Be Possible

Dear Reader — 

Donald Trump continues to shake things up. Progressive pundits sound more hawkish about Russia by the day, while conservative ones downplay the Kremlin’s ambitions; liberals decry Trump’s interventionist approach to the economy, while free-marketers defend it; some on the Left even criticize identity politics, while some on the Right embrace their own version of it. It would seem that Ivanka Trump was right when she predicted, “come January 17, all things will be possible.” 

“Decentralization” may the watchword of the Trump era, with Left and Right seeking to shift power away from the executive. But a more literal take on decentralization has emerged of late: Both progressive and conservative writers have suggested relocating parts of the federal government to the post-industrial Midwest and other reaches of the “heartland.” This would not only foster employment in the Rust Belt but also provide an economic and political counterweight to Washington.

Novel as it sounds, the proposal harkens back to the early days of our republic, when the U.S. Supreme Court still “rode circuit.” The Judiciary Act of 1789 required justices to travel regularly to lower courts within assigned “circuits” to consider cases side-by-side with local judges. The idea was to keep the justices from losing “that responsive confidence of the people, which adds so essentially to the sanction of all acts of the officers of Government.” A welcome sentiment in our age of fracture.

These are some of the many issues taken up at RealClearPolicy over the past week. Below you will find just a few highlights:

— M. Anthony Mills, editor | RealClearPolicy


Liberalism’s Blind Spots. In Jacobin, Adam Fisher argues that the “classless identity politics” embraced by the Democratic Party “elevates elites” rather than “recognizing the commonality all working-class and poor people share.” 

How Democrats Can Bridge Identity Politics & Populism. In The New Republic, Graham Vyse looks to Robert Kennedy as a model for how Democrats can “update their economic message while continuing to advance civil rights.”

Relocate Government Agencies to the Midwest. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias makes the case for moving some federal agencies from the “overcrowded coasts” to parts of the country that would benefit from more economic activity.

Use States’ Rights Defensively against Trump. Also in Vox, Heather Gerken urges progressives to embrace federalism as way to oppose Trump’s conservative agenda.

More Job Opportunities, Less Recidivism. In our own pages, Jennifer Doleac spotlights judge-issued “employability certificates” as a first step to helping the formerly incarcerated find jobs.

Will Trump Face Fiscal Reality? Also in our pages, James C. Capretta warns the new administration and Congress against using gimmicks and rosy assumptions to wish away budget problems. 

Trump Can Create Rust-Belt Jobs by Moving Federal Agencies. For The Federalist, Kyle Sammin makes a conservative case for moving federal agencies to the Midwest.

Our Frackers Beat Their Hackers. In RealClearWorld, Mark P. Mills claims that the energy policies favored by President-elect Trump worry Putin, casting doubt on a popular narrative about Russia and the 2016 election. 

Looking at Trump from Outside the Bubble. Library of Law and Liberty’s Mark Pulliam considers why “so many right-of-center intellectuals not formally affiliated with the ‘Establishment’ commentariat” nevertheless resisted Trumpism. 

Term Limits a Trojan Horse for Conservatives. In The Liberty Conservative, Mark Meuser asserts that term limits will not make politicians any more accountable but, instead, give “more power to the lobbyist.” 

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