There was a time, about 220 years ago, when the term “federalist” was used to describe those who supported a strong central government.

In the last 60 years or so, however, “federalism” has been used to describe the opposite notion, i.e., the idea that power should be delegated from Washington DC to the states.

Because of this, it is not unusual in modern times to refer to “federalists” as those who support states’ rights. Here’s an example from a couple of years ago in The Daily Beast:

the president has been making a federalist argument for why the [same-sex marriage] issue should be handled at the state level, despite the fact that the same rationale has historically served as a roadblock to civil-rights advancements.

Friess refused to back down and did a reasonably good job defending himself:

But then one of his critics crossed the line: