I believe the way the American federal liberal democratic republic was formed is based on what we were before the United States was created and what our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) wanted to escape from. The United Kingdom as it is today, but lot freer now than it was in the 1770s, was a unitarian big government authoritarian monarchy. Britain, still is a unitarian big government monarchy, but now with a social democratic feel to it where governmental authority now rests with civilians and no longer the monarchy.
But in the 1770s the U.K. had an authoritarian London knows best about everything big unitarian government. With England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the American Colonies, having very little if any say in their own state domestic affairs. The Founding American Liberals, wanted to move away from that top-down big government approach. And create a system where the states would have a lot more say in what goes on in their own states. Which is why the Federal American Republic was created to create a country where so much power was not in the hands of one central national authority. But where the states would have real authority over their own affairs.
Federalism, is not anti-government and even anti-federal government. The opposites are actually true. With federalism you get a set of rules and real governing guidelines for what the Federal Government can do, what it should and certain things that only it can do. Like defending the country, regulating interstate commerce, prosecuting interstate crimes, foreign policy, national infrastructure. But where the states and localities are responsible for what goes on in their own jurisdictions. Short of being under attack from a foreign power, or handling their own currency and things that only the Feds should be doing.
And even though federalism is not anti-government, it is anti-big government and anti-socialist. Because America will probably never have that top-down big centralized unitarian government, where so much power both economic and social, is centralized under the control of the national government. With so many so programs designed to take care of the people for themselves. Giving people the freedom not to responsible for themselves. Which is what is common in Britain and Scandinavia. What it says is that in a huge diverse country like America states should be responsible for what happens in their own states, because they are on the ground and know what’s going on. The Feds can play a constructive role and assist, but not be there to run the program for each and every state. And the federal system has worked very well for us most of our history.