Ok, so I’m back for a bit…and questions on the levels of government

July 25, 2012

While I found myself wearied of debating people on the internet (both here and even more so on other websites), I have found myself more and more simply wanting to pose philosophical questions to the world, just in case anyone is listening.  Keeping up with current events and writing about them as frequently as possible won’t be the focus so much.  So here goes…

Is it possible, or even beneficial, for a person to hold different political beliefs at different levels of government?

For example, whether one wanted to socialize medicine or continue the ban on marijuana use, couldn’t a person believe (and vote accordingly) that such measures are better decided at lower levels of government than the national level,  and thus vote for libertarian-minded politicians (desiring little governmental regulation of anything) at the federal level and liberals (desiring mostly governmental support on social and economic issues) or conservatives (desiring mostly government support on social issues and deregulation on economic issues) at local levels?

Thus, one might vote against federal politicians who promise government aid to students and universities while voting for local politicians who promise to increase funding to local community colleges.  One might be in favor of an increased state-wide minimum wage law while opposing the federal minimum wage altogether.  One might vote against federal politicians who promise to continue the war on drugs while voting for a state proposition banning the possession of marijuana–or even a community ordinance prohibiting all cigarette use.

Ultimately, if you always vote the same way at all levels, you may be focused on the ends and ignoring the question of the appropriate means.  Maybe it would be a great thing to have socialized medicine or a ban on marijuana in one state while permitting decreased regulations on medical insurance or legalized marijuana in another.  If people in one state grow envious of the other for whatever reason, they could make an educated and informed decision on that policy.  Or maybe one state’s policy works great for that state, but wouldn’t work in another state.

Some issues are necessarily federal (like national defense and whether we will wage war), but should all issues be decided on as high a level as possible?  If you think some issues ought to be local, do you vote against federal politicians who meddle in those issues rather than leaving them to states and local communities?


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