I agree that politics in this country can be absolutely infuriating sometimes. But I also think the political genius of the founding fathers was to realize the potential of separating state and federal government powers.

Like you pointed out, having the ability to run lots of small experiments is important and can lead to many improvements. I would argue that that’s exactly what makes America work really well. Each state, county, and municipality enables our country to run lots of experiments at once while not having to impose those laws on everyone until they are more fleshed out.

Some great examples of this are women’s suffrage, the affordable care act, and gay marriage. Convincing the entire country to implement any of these all at once proves to be a political nightmare. But more progressive states were able to take the lead and essentially run an experiment in their state. I think only by making it work on this level, the country’s overall opinion was able to shift having seen the success of these small ‘experiments’. On the international level, a good example of this type of small scale experiments working is China’s special economic zones.

This leads one to wonder when the first state will come out and implement a completely open border policy or to create strict gun laws in their state only. Both don’t exactly lead to clear answers on how it’d work with current federal laws but the legalization of marijuana is probably a good analogy.

While this obviously doesn’t work for all laws, it is a powerful way to keep government moving forward and innovating (even if it doesn’t always look like this ;).

The system the founding fathers created does need some updating (George Washington said the two party system would be the downfall of America) but it is amazing to see how well it works in such a complex world.


Attempting to put my dent in the universe.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store