Can State Governments Stop Local Tyranny?

If you care about freedom as much as I do, you probably have a negative knee-jerk reaction when the government tries to ban things.

We’ve been given no shortage of reasons to feel that way. When politicians and bureaucrats come up with new ways to “fix” our communities, they tend to do nothing but waste our money, infringe on our freedoms, and cause even bigger problems.

But is it possible for the government to use its power the right way?

I would argue that the answer is yes… Though the circumstances need to be pretty specific.

Take the craziness of mask mandates, vaccine passports, and everything else government tyrants have tried to push on us in the last 18 months.

I imagine most of us reading this newsletter would agree that forcing people to wear masks or inject a certain medicine is wrong. The cracks might start to show when we ask if the government should be able to ban local governments from requiring such measures.

Many of us liberty-minded folks tend to oppose a state that takes sweeping actions, especially ones that limit a local community’s ability to self-regulate. And in some cases, I might agree.

But what about when the local government is even more tyrannical than the state it belongs to?

Even in the seemingly freest of states, many counties and cities seem to enjoy enacting insanely restrictive laws.

The pandemic has made this abundantly clear: rules enacting bans on indoor dining, family gatherings, maskless socializing, and vaccine-less working have become a reality, even in “conservative” states like Texas, Florida, and my home state of Utah.

This makes a strong case for states to use their power properly, and protect freedom by restricting the power of local tyrants to take away our personal liberties.

This sentiment was shared by one newsletter reader, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on this issue with me recently.

She wrote, “At first glance, local control seems best, but then I realized it shouldn’t be about control at all. It is about protecting freedoms… A state law preventing local governments from enacting a mandate on the people is different from a state law preventing the people from doing something. A law limiting the government is a good law.”

I completely agree with her… and the founding fathers would have, too.

They understood that governments have a tendency towards getting too big and restricting people’s freedoms. Take it from James Madison, who wrote about this concept in the Federalist Papers:

“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”

When the federal government was created, its job description was pretty darn clear: protecting Americans’ unalienable liberties from threats. And as we’ve all learned, lower forms of government can most certainly be threats to our freedoms and our way of life. Laws can always be used to strip us of our agency, whether from 5 miles away or 3,000 miles away.

This concept is at the core of our first children’s book, The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law. In this title, Emily and Ethan learn about where individual liberty comes from, how it can be threatened, and what the government’s role is. If you’re looking for a way to start talking about the world’s craziness with your kids, this book is a great place to start.

If your family already owns this one, stay tuned—we have a whole bunch of new content coming out soon. The world can keep going crazy from DC all the way down to your hometown, but we’ll still be here to help you teach your kids the ideas that matter, and the principles that should be defended, even from local bullies with political power.

Until next time…

—Connor

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The Tuttle Twins children’s book series is read by hundreds of thousands of families across the country, and nearly a million books (in a dozen languages!) are teaching children like yours about the ideas of a free society.

Textbooks don’t teach this; schools don’t mention it.

It’s up to you—and our books can help. Check out the Tuttle Twins books to see if they’re a fit for your family!

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