In my dotage I realize that my former log-held belief that I understood the U.S. system was seriously flawed. For example, my local town council recently voted to allow retail sales of marijuana. At the start of the session they all rose and spoke, with hands over hearts, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States...one nation, under God, indivisible... Two flags were in the room, one the Stars and Stripes, the other the State Flag of Illinois. They faced the former. The latter was not mentioned. Then they proceeded to pass an Ordinance that makes them all parties to a Federal felony (actually, it was a 6-5 vote). Eleven states have joined mine in this succession. We tried this States' Rights thing once before. That time it ended badly.
We live in dangerous times, as also had been the case for our predecessors.