Guest Post: All Politics Are Local
Guest Post: All Politics Are Local
In today’s times, we are all so sick of politics. We look at Washington, DC, and either love or hate the President, love or hate Congress (mostly strong dislike), lots of dislike for politicians of all stripes. Today, I was having a conversation with a friend and when I said I had plans for this weekend of a political nature, he said, “There’s not enough real in that group….” I explained that the people I’m meeting are normal, every day folks who are passionate about their communities and I pointed out that there is a distinct difference between local and federal level politics, that the federal level involves obscene amounts of money and power.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.” ~Lord Acton
In my local community, there’s a small kerfluffle. The city manager has submitted a budget which cuts the line item for the Humane Society by half. In previous years, the Humane Society had a $125,000 contract and now, the city is looking to spend $62,500 for the HS to take in strays. The HS services about 1,000 strays locally, per year. A large segment of our city is very upset over this one cut.
Now you would wonder why I’m writing about this and prefaced my local issue with a statement on politics. The thing is, the local city budget is politics. When we go to the polls, we usually scan through the local races and pick names who sound “nice” or “friendly” or “white” or “black” or “hispanic” or we vote by party or whatever other qualifiers we use, up to and including eeny meeny miney moe for candidates we don’t know or races we don’t care about. Yes, I’m looking at all of you because we all do it in one race or another, where we just have no clue about the job or we have no preference for any particular candidate.
But when you don’t care, you get a situation where everyone is up in arms over a serious budget cut when there are so many other places to cut. A friend shared a link to the proposed budget and said, pick any of your own hated spending and find that money. It’s true. We all don’t like some spending and prefer others. As a community, we choose how that money is spent by deciding who sits in the seats who create the budgets.
I’m saying all of this because I know people don’t want to get involved in politics. I know we just want to sit on the sidelines and bitch about how wrongly everything is being done. I am writing to encourage you to use your passion and commitments to causes, ideals, support or opposition against certain legislation to get up off your butts and run. Get out there and give the rest of us more choices (even if we sometimes eeny meeny miney moe it), more voices, go talk to rotary groups, the League of Women Voters, and in my case when I ran for a county wide office, all of the small town and village and city boards. You might lose the first time. You might lose the second. You might never hold office but you will display more investment in the local legislative impact on your community than 99.9% of your friends, neighbors, and family members. All politics are local and guess what…you’re the local.
Editor’s note: Our Guest Blogger is Wendy Stewart, a conservative libertarian/Goldwater Republican/classic liberal who loves God, America, and her family. She lives in the midwest with her children and pets and has walked the walk.