The Dreaded Political Season Has Started Again
When I was growing up, I don't remember my parents talking much about either politics or religion. That was the norm back in the fifties. It kept families together. I knew which party my parents belonged to, what they thought of the other party's candidates , and that was about it. They didn't attend any local government meetings. In fact, for most of my childhood, our town wasn't even incorporated. The politicians did their thing and we went about our daily lives. They didn't bother us and we didn't pay much attention to them. I've always voted since I was able, and only once per election.
All that changed when I moved here, except only voting once. The politicians were beginning to interfere with our daily lives more and more. I reluctantly began to get active in grassroots political activities. And that led to where I was Friday night -- a political fund-raising BBQ for a local city council candidate. His is the only face that shows completely in the photo, and politicians are fair game for photographers, unlike other celebrities.
Why was I doing this on the hottest day of the week? Because I've come to appreciate that all government begins locally. Politicians get their start at the local level. Agenda 21 is being implemented on the local level. In the long run, local officials change the quality of our lives more than the federal officials – at least they did until 2008. If you don't believe this, try to get a building permit or water your lawn on the wrong day in my county, and maybe even in yours.
Your local elected officials run not only the city or county positions you elected them for, but they also have seats on the non-elected governmental organizations that make the regulations that make your life miserable – the APCD, the EPA, the State Water Board, Integrated Waste Management Board, etc. They determine whether stores where you shop can give you a bag for free, when you can water your lawn, what kind of inspections you must have before you sell your house, etc.
They may even want to put a meter on the well you paid to dig and continue to maintain and tell you how much water you can use from it. They may even decide to charge you for it. Or, as our county is trying to do, force you to join a water board to regulate and meter your water and pay them to do it. It doesn't do anything to try to increase the water supply, just control your water supply. Their ultimate goal is to get rural folks off their land and packed into cities.
Local government is the first rung of the political ladder. Politicians on the school board or city planning commission. Then they run for city council, then mayor, then county supervisor, and then state Assemblyman. If they make if that far, the next stop may be Congress. You can actually get to know those who run your local government and watch them in action. If they are not doing a good job or seem corrupt, you can help find someone to run against them and then help get them elected. You have a much better chance to get rid of corruption at the local level than at the state and national level.
That being said, I hate politics, political meetings, and campaigning . I resent those who force me to give hours of my time a month and use up gasoline attending meetings at the county seat to try to defend rights they are trying to take away. I don't enjoy speaking at these meetings or waiting through hours of non-related business they put first, hoping the opposition to what they want to do will give up and go home.
Have you ever been involved in a political campaign? Have you made calls in a phone bank? Spoken at a public meeting? Walked precincts? Do you attend local government meetings? Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. The opposition never rests. Even so, I still only vote once per election. I wish everybody did.
Image Credit » I took the photo