of our entire national government. It puts a geographic community rider on the formation of majorities recognizing that people who must obey the same state laws, who live together sharing the same roads, parks, schools, climate, natural resources, and local economy do have common interests that must be represented in a national government. The federal principle in presidential elections serves to make presidents sensitive to state and local issues, supports the separation of powers by producing an independent, energetic presidency but not a Caesar, and promotes majority rule with minority consent. To abandon this principle in presidential elections is to call the Senate, the House, and the amendment process into question. It is to call the Constitution itself into question.
Alexis de Tocqueville called the federal principle “a wholly novel theory which may be considered as a great discovery in modern political science.” The federal principle is an alloy. We create alloys because we want to combine the advantages and avoid the weaknesses of two different things. Steel alloys can make things simultaneously stronger, lighter, and tougher. Tocqueville intuitively understood the federal principle is an alloy because he says its advantage is to unite the benefits and avoid the weaknesses of small and large societies. It unites the strength and wealth of large societies with the liberty found in small ones. In fusing the two it creates a flexibility and diversity otherwise not found in large powerful societies. Tocqueville was right. It was “a great discovery.” Let us preserve it. 6