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What Does ‘Self-Governance’ Look Like In The Era Of Community Decay?

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Tony Woodlief of State Policy Network joins Emily Jashinsky to discuss his book ‘I, Citizen: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Self-Governance.’


On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Tony Woodlief, executive vice president of the State Policy Network, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss his book “I, Citizen: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Self-Governance.”

“The big enemy we’re facing right now is a massive unelected federal bureaucracy,” Woodlief said. “For every law passed by Congress, federal agencies pass 27 regulations that have the full force of federal law. So there’s no way now to stop them, even if Congress woke up tomorrow and was suddenly interested in doing its damn job. So then you’ve got to ask how do we push back against these federal agencies, and where I land is, it’s got to be networks of communities and think tanks and litigation groups at the state level who, through unified action, begin to push back.”

Self-governance, Woodlief said, is something that was present and valued at the nation’s creation and needs to return as a priority in the United States.

“I feel I’m a radical centrist. I embrace the radical idea that in a democracy, the centrist ought to have a say. And so if that’s what we mean by populism, then yeah, it is, it’s trusting people. But I think that’s what the founders did. They put in roadblocks so that the best parts of us would have the greatest likelihood of surfacing in terms of who runs the government, in terms of the decisions the government makes, but they didn’t set up a system where ‘we the people’ had no say. … They wanted the best of the people to come forward,” Woodlief said.