From the editor of American Habits

Authored by Ray Nothstine

Any new publication demands a reason for its existence. Simply put, one major reason is the broken nature of Washington. As an example, the perpetual spending binge and a $32 trillion federal debt reveals that Washington is interested in self-preservation over reflecting any semblance of the common good. Change can only come from a sustained pushback from outside our nation’s capital.

Founding Father and notable Virginian George Mason thought that a “frequent recurrence to fundamental principles” is vital for self-government and the preservation of liberty. We at American Habits affirm that line of thought.

There is hope and solutions — not in coalescing more partisan power in D.C. — but in a commitment to our federalist principles and self-governing heritage. Ultimately, so much of the brokenness in politics today is a belief by the central rule makers in D.C. that Americans are no longer worthy of self-government. We must reject that line of thinking.

The content for this launch of American Habits offers principled essays and thought pieces. You will hear about the novelist Dos Passos, how decentralization can help lower the politicization of everything in society, and a look at the challenges and importance of being active in local government.

Carl Spitzweg’s “The Bookworm” (1850).

I’m thankful for the many contributors who took a step out in faith before seeing the publication in its current existence. They are highly successful and accomplished. Most importantly, they all share a commitment to believing in Americans over the centralization of power to a geographically distant location.

We’ve also interviewed a former governor, a state lawmaker, and a local school board member to demonstrate how first principles can (and should) be practiced by elected representatives.

The figures interviewed in the launch of American Habits point out that states like California and Illinois should have more autonomy to govern themselves, even if that proves detrimental to some of limited government policy objectives. Californians, as other states, are entitled to work out their destiny. As former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam notes in his interview, residents who want a rich public pension system have a right to those kinds of policies, and if you want to live in a state with no income taxes, that right is available, too.

I’m excited about our interview with Missouri State Rep. Bishop Davidson. While it’s always wise to put the caution tape around any politician, he’s an elected official who understands the essential nature of federalism for the future health and vitality of our Republic. Rep. Davidson has shown a strong commitment to realigning government within its proper structures. In fact, in some of the initial discussions about who needed to be included in American Habits, Davidson was one of the first names brought to my attention.

I also sat down and interviewed current Johnston County School Board Member Michelle Antoine in Clayton, North Carolina, turning her poignant words into a short profile. “The greatness of America and the Founders is that they don’t care for kingmakers,” says Antoine.

The preamble of our Constitution starts with “We The People…” I can’t think of a better reminder that it’s truly up to us to exact a principled and lasting change away from fighting over the table scraps from Washington. American Habits exists for that reason.

Authored by:Ray Nothstine


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