The rise of the states’ rights conservatives

Jacob Siegel

Staff Reporter

What is the difference between the Tea-Party and the Republican party? One might think, based on what they see and hear from the news media, that the Tea-Party are the most radical people from the conservative spectrum and that they represent a different change from Republican party politics from the past. I contend that this is not the case, and that the people who are in the Tea-Party are the same people that tend to vote Republican. Now, the Tea-Party movement started out as an independent movement that was against bailing out Wall-Street, but now it has evolved into a typical anti-Democrat Right-Wing movement comprised of people who call themselves anti-government. When pressed upon it, one can find out that they are really for a States’ rights approach to government. We can see that in what issues and what people they support.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on around with the world of politics. Jan Good, the Arizona GOP Governor (short for the Republican party), has been telling people that what’s good for them is good for Arizona, in defense of the controversial illegal immigration bill, SB 1070, which is very popular in certain parts of the country. Her opponent has been saying that Arizona isn’t as bad as she is making it out to be, and that by making these comments about how allegedly unsafe Arizona is, she is hurting the state’s economy.

Conservatives believe that a States’ rights approach to immigration works best. It’s why more criticism has come from conservatives when the Obama administration decided to sue Arizona because of the controversial illegal immigration bill that they passed earlier this year. Conservatives think that it’s a better approach if the states were allowed to take matters in their own hands outside of the federal government.

Moving on- elsewhere in the USA, 22 states are suing over Obamacare (according to a post on and it’s not even election season. These conservatives are rallying against federal government programs like Obamacare and have been taking more of a states’ rights stance.

Ironically, while conservatives claim to be against federal government programs, these “limited government conservatives” accept government aid from the same programs they claim to reject. Nineteen of the same 22 states are accepting 1 million dollar federal grants from the government (according to Thinkprogress). This is just one other example of how conservative states oppose federal government programs and then go and accept funding from them later on. It is like with the stimulus and how Republicans have accepted stimulus money after they voted against it.

Here comes Joe Miller, a radical anti-federal government conservative (according to, who has came out against social security, medicare, Medicaid, and other various programs by the federal government. Conservatives and Republicans are voting people like him into office. Joe Miller has stated that he is against the current health care reform and he wants to go back to the drawing board. Joe Miller portrays himself as a staunch anti-government conservative, but in the end he believes that he needs to serve the state of Alaska, and Alaska would be served best if it were allowed to make its own decisions.

We can see a pattern here. These States’ rights conservatives have given people the impression that they really are for limited government. They have told people that they are against government intervention in the economy, and that they are against socialism or whatever it is that they’re against at the moment. The truth of the matter is that the GOP (short for the Republican party) supports government intervention. They support it at more of a state level rather than a national level, and in reality they just have a different approach from the Democrats as to how to implement government programs. For instance, Democrats and Republicans worked together on a health care bill, and the bill that they came up with was largely based on a state health care policy (according to Paul Ryan, a staunch anti-government conservative, came up with a policy that would have everyone insured through health care insurance plan. The GOP does have ideas, and, they do like government contrary to what the mainstream media makes them out to be.

The most interesting thing about all of this is how the conservatives and Republicans have been able to tell everyone that they’re for small government for so long when in reality they are for a States’ rights approach (that states should be sovereign). I am a Democrat, and, I am for limited government, so I am always interested in how people can say they are for limited government and that they are against government in our lives but all that they really want is a different approach. These people would rather have the states do it than to let the federal government do it. The people who are supporting this movement are 10thers (they are very radical believers in the 10th amendment) and States’ rights has always been a common view held by the Republican party.