Published: February 27, 2009
In its early years, the U.S. wasn’t so much “United” as “States.” Over time, the federal government has become more powerful, but states have continued to assert their independence on everything from gun control to medical marijuana. In this hour, we ask: If we’re all Americans, why do states still matter? Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell describes how his state has left the feds in the dust when it comes to climate change policy. Historian Eric Foner discusses the successes and failures of the 14th Amendment, created to protect us from the states. And a long-haul trucker explains why she’d like to do away with states altogether.