Conservatives, anarchists, some liberals (esp. 1970s back-to-the-earth liberals) and many other groups have long said that government needs to be more local. Smaller. The principle is that if more government control is held at closer (smaller/localler) levels, more people will have the ability to change and improve government policy. As a Catholic I use two principles of Catholic social teaching, solidarity and subsidiarity, as guideposts for my action and beliefs. These principles lead me to the same insight made elsewhere by some conservatives, anarchists and back-to-the-earth liberals. Both, solidarity and subsidiarity, work together. One without the other is problematic.
Pope Benedict explains these two virtues: "Solidarity refers to the virtue enabling the human family to share fully the treasure of material and spiritual goods, and subsidiarity is the coordination of society’s activities in a way that supports the internal life of the local communities."
And now onto today; to the problem of President Trump, who seems to reject both virtues, solidarity and subsidiarity. Pennsylvania, and in particular Central PA, has a pipeline problem. Every month, often multiple times a month, our local news shares the story of a pipeline project leaking waste (or exploding!) into our actual soils and waterways. The farms where our food is grown suffer. Our waterways (where we have major limits on the number of fish we can safely consume) suffer! And this president (like those preceding him who were overt in their aims at increased globalism) works for international corporations; not the people (not the farmers, fishermen, and other rural people who voted for him!). In news this week, the president intends to use his executive order power to override our State power to control the Constitution Pipeline. He intends to reveal his plan at a meeting of the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center in Crosby, Texas. Its bad enough our Pennsylvania natural gas wealth only benefits international billionaires who send their Texan workers up here to Central PA to live in shacks and work these jobs, even as rural Pennsylvanians suffer high unemployment. Trump, like other globalists, will override State authority for National! State authority is too big as it is! We need federal and state governments to give up, not take on, more power. Trump's faux localism is an offense to the virtue of subsidiarity, which with solidarity can create ever widening circles of virtuous action. We need, whatever your political persuasion, to push for more solidarity and subsidiarity. It is the only way forward.
Big solutions = big problem. This is because untouchable international billionaires and national presidents haven't stood with bare feet on our soil. They don't drink our water. They haven't made bills working the few low-paying jobs that are available in rural PA. They haven't raised children here, or sang songs in our churches. Top down government, like big business, only benefits international billionaires because our actual to act power is removed. We are made powerless in the face of big government and international corporations. Powerless in the face of globalism. The problem of globalists like Trump can't ever be solved by increased power to "good" globalists. In global policy, we, actual people living and dying here, can either submit or weep. Some here have chosen to submit to Democrats, hoping for good global government. Others have chosen to submit to Republicans, hoping for good global industrialists. But in local policy, we can show up at our neighbor, the mayor or council member's, doorstep and demand accountability. Wrest local control from all nationalists and globalists. This is what I call a philosophy on soil in my book. We need more policy on soil.