We Do NOT Have a Federal Government
by Paul Rosenberg
WHAT WAS “FEDERAL”?
Nearly all of us use the word federal to refer to the United States national government, as distinct from the state governments. This has been an error on our part.
Federal was a description, not a name. It would be fair to use federative in its place. It described a type of government, not a particular organization.
For example, when we say “my friend has a fast car,” we don’t think that fast is the car’s brand name – it is merely a description of the car’s acceleration and top speed.
Federal was not the brand name of the government that James Madison designed, it was a description, like fast.
Notice how Madison distinguishes between national and federal. We have lost this distinction, and it is crucial.