In other words, towns and cities -- the grassroots incubators -- were always under the thumb of "the supreme power" of the central government, and it remained so until the culture was convinced that individuals and their local communities should have the highest sovereignty. This is one of the most crucial differences the Constitution made in the world.
Insofar as conservatism ever calls for "going back" to a time before, this is exactly the kind of call it makes. Modern American government has gone terribly wrong. The federal government, and many states, are outdated and anachronistic because they are indeed too big, and are ignoring the bottom-up, adaptable nature of the Constitution. The Founders knew the same thing Tim Berners-Lee and the other pioneers of the Internet knew: small, distributed nodes are a failsafe against all sorts of corruption.
What must we do? In our own circles, we must begin emphasizing local rather than federal government. When your friends start talking about Obama, talk about what your state senator is doing. Become just as educated about the federal and state courts in your own district as you are about the Supreme Court decisions. Use radical connectivity -- Twitter, and your local influence -- to create a more attentive culture. For most of us, our sphere of influence is still local. But that's enough.