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A Return to Normalcy

Federalism is a beautiful thing. Let the governments closest to the people, most responsive to public sentiment, create the pathway towards normalcy.

“In this emergency, therefore, the federal government should want to enable the states to enable the public to feel secure enough to return toward normal life. That means drawing on a national well of expertise to propose some parameters for reopening. It means helping different regions of the country take the actions needed to meet those parameters, and keeping problems in one region from spilling into others. It means advancing research and treatment efforts to fight covid-19 in ways only our national government can. It means providing financial assistance to sustain the economy. And it means communicating all this clearly to the public.

The states must understand that their function is also ultimately an enabling role. They need to set, enforce, and alter rules as circumstances change within the framework that the federal government helps them establish, and give people the confidence to venture toward normality.

Each level of government has its role and should be held accountable for performing it. But all these roles are ultimately supportive of the real decision-makers about when we can return to normal — the American people. Seeing that would help us avoid pointless arguments about who has all the power. And it would help us grasp the real challenge before us, and the actual character of our system of government.”

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