Why we have states

Lamar Alexander's presidential campaign is most remembered for his flannel shirt. Charlie Arlinghaus remembers something much more substantive: "He urged his party to let each state find its own solution. He cautioned them against the abuse of power in 'simply substituting Republican orders from Washington for Democratic orders.' Ten years later, Alexander's ideas seem not just sensible but prophetic. 'Whether it's altering the behavior of a welfare mother or a third grader, reinventing America in Washington, D.C., is a pipe dream. The bureaucracy is too strong. The interest groups are too nosy. There is too much difference between the way Washington works and the way people live.' "

Charlie concludes: "There is a great temptation for a president and any national politician to try to solve all the problems of the country. They are afraid some state might do something stupid. But that's why we have states. Washington doesn't and can't know everything that's right for everyone. Sometimes they need to mind their own business. My candidate for president will agree with Lamar Alexander when he said, 'Washington spends too much, meddles too much and spends too much time telling us we are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves.' "