“Step outside the box, and imagine if we’d NEVER created the national government. “
We might look like Canada.
Step back and imagine if we actually had followed the Constitution, and held fast to the idea of a LIMITED national government.
We had a limited national government when the United States was a confederacy. They screwed the pooch when they created a national government that was a complete and supreme entity. So many predictable invitations to power and expansion--The preamble, with its broad, general goals, the implied powers of the "necessary and proper" clause, the shockingly powerful and final Supreme Court that would decide the meaning of the Constitution, the total dilution and smothering of state sovereighty--it's all in the Constitution. Odd, isn't it, that the actual federalists are known as the antifederalists, and the nationalists are known as the federalists? Providence has a sense of humor.
I think we could have looked more like Switzerland, but of course, we got way, way too big to be a functional confederation, let alone a single republic, a long time ago.
I might say a limited national government is sorta like being slightly pregnant. I might also say wouldn't it be nice if rivers were made of chocolate and bottles of jack daniels grew on trees. You should read Antifederalist 49:
People once possessed of power are always loathe to part with it; and we shall never find two thirds of a Congress voting or proposing anything which shall derogate from their own authority and importance, or agreeing to give back to the people any part of those privileges which they have once parted with-so far from it, that the greater occasion there may be for a reformation, the less likelihood will there be of accomplishing it. The greater the abuse of power, the more obstinately is it always persisted in. As to any expectation of two thirds of the legislatures concurring in such a request, it is if possible still more remote. The legislatures of the states will be but forms and shadows, and it will be the height of arrogance and presumption in them, to turn their thoughts to such high subjects.
Antifederalist 45 is haunting:
From this contrast it appears that the general government, when completely organized, will absorb all those powers of the state which the framers of its constitution had declared should be only exercised by the representatives of the people of the state; that the burdens and expense of supporting a state establishment will be perpetuated; but its operations to ensure or contribute to any essential measures promotive of the happiness of the people may be totally prostrated, the general government arrogating to itself the right of interfering in the most minute objects of internal police, and the most trifling domestic concerns of every state, by possessing a power of passing laws "to provide for the general welfare of the United States," which may affect life, liberty and property in every modification they may think expedient, unchecked by cautionary reservations, and unrestrained by a declaration of any of those rights which the wisdom and prudence of America in the year 1776 held ought to be at all events protected from violation.
In a word, the new constitution will prove finally to dissolve all the power of the several state legislatures, and destroy the rights and liberties of the people; for the power of the first will be all in all, and of the latter a mere shadow and form without substance, and if adopted we may (in imitation of the Carthagenians) say, Delenda vit America.