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SENTRY JOURNAL » 2010 elections, Constitution, Dr. Kevin Gutzman, local elections, Mike Church, Politics, States Rights » Start Thinking Local

Start Thinking Local

The other morning on my way to work I was listening to conservative talk radio host Mike Church.  He was interviewing co-author of the book “Who Killed the Constitution?” Dr. Kevin Gutzman and the topic being discussed was the upcoming elections and the role of the states.  I had listened to Dr. Gutzman many times before and found him to be extremely knowledgeable and well versed on our Constitution.  This morning was different however; I sensed a more elevated level of frustration in his tone.  It was the kind of tone that someone has when you feel like your banging you head against the wall because no one is really listening.  I didn’t understand it.  Here we are on the verge of bouncing the Democratic majority in both houses out of office in less than 30 days and turning things around under a new and inspired conservative movement and Dr. Gutzman was less than enthusiastic about it.  I needed to know why.  As I continued to listen I soon began to see and it struck a nerve in me.

You see Dr. Gutzman believes that the solutions to our problems rest with local politics and not on the national level. Since the “Reagan Revolution” conservatives in this country have been living a lie.  The lie is that they believed they could effect change on a national level by electing solid conservatives to fix what is wrong in Washington D.C.  They believed that conservatives who embraced the Constitution, believed in a limited federal government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibly would save the republic from the tax and spend Democrats.  So in 1994 we gave them a chance to prove their case.  What we ended up with was self-serving politicians that watered down our Constitution by twisting the language to meet their needs.  They justified the need for the massive expansion in the size and authority of the federal government to administer new entitlement programs.  There has been no significant reduction in taxes since the Reagan years even though we have an extremely oppressive progressive tax code that punishes success and rewards mediocrity in the name of compassion.  They have racked up our national credit card with out of control spending.  Both parties are guilty, but what is most disappointing is that the Republicans were supposed to be the party of limited government.  They were supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility.  I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked…duped.

For over twenty years we have been complaining about the same issues; high tax rates, out of control spending, skyrocketing debt, and the desire for limited federal government that operates within the parameters of their constitutional authority.  And yet it seems like nothing changes no matter which party is in power.  Washington D.C. is a cesspool filled with lies and corruption and even those with the best intentions get caught up in it.  The other day I was talking to a good friend and he told me that when a computer is infected by a virus, and you finally remove the virus with anti-virus software, does the computer work the same way as before the infection?  The answer is no.  The virus has corrupted and deleted files and damaged the operating software in some way.  The computer runs slower and is more sluggish in its operation.  Eventually most users end up wiping their hard drive clean and reload the original software.  I believe this is a good analogy of what is going on in Washington.  We elected new representatives and senators to go to Washington and make it better, more efficient; to look out for our best interests and to support our Constitution.  At first it appeared like we are making small strides, but evenually many of these newly elected officials learned to play the Washington game and they get caught up in its cesspool.  The system cannot be cleaned from within; it must be cleaned from a force that is outside of the system.  This force is the states.

This is where we can find the solutions to our problems.  The federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government and like a rebellious child the federal government believes they know more than the parent.  We have lost our way in terms of understanding how a constitutional republic should work and have forgotten that the founders envisioned that the majority of the power resides within each state and that the federal government was constrained by its 18 enumerated powers.  The Tea Party movement invested a great deal of time and effort into making sure solid constitutionally minded candidates were supported on a national level, but paid little attention to local state races.  And in my opinion these are the most important races.  These are the folks that have the most direct impact on your property taxes, your school boards, your school taxes, your city zoning, your elections, and a variety of other issue that affect each of you in a very concrete way.  These are also the folks that have the power to push back when the federal government tries to create draconian policies that destroy jobs and impose mandates that force people to obtain healthcare coverage.  And yet most of us don’t even know who these people are.  We see their names on the ballot and vote by party affiliation and not by what they stand for or we just don’t vote for them at all.

The sooner we realize that the change we seek lives in our neighborhood and understand our pains, the sooner we can begin reining in the federal government.  National elections are indeed important but local elections are more important.  If you truly want change and are tired of swapping out one set of disappointments for another then I encourage you to start thinking local in a big kind of way.  Change starts in each of our neighborhoods.  Find out who is representing you in your district at the state level.  He or she probably lives only a few blocks away so take the time to get to know them and let them know how you feel.

The Progressive States Network is already doing this…

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

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Filed under: 2010 elections, Constitution, Dr. Kevin Gutzman, local elections, Mike Church, Politics, States Rights

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Comments
  • LD Jackson October 7, 2010 at 4:40 AM

    Great post, John. I think there is one thing to keep in mind in all of this. Where did most of the politicians who are in Washington now come from? They didn't just decide to run for Congress one day, out of the blue. I dare say most of them started at the local level. Councilman, county commissioner, state representative, etc. If the people of this country would start paying more attention to the local elections, those results would naturally move upward to higher levels of our government.

  • Steve Dennis October 7, 2010 at 5:22 AM

    Great post! While we tend to focus on national poltics on the blogosphere we must not neglect the local level. That is where it all begins, we have to make sure we elect conservatives at every level of government because that is the only way we can continue our battle over the long hall. Everything begins at home and moves from there.

  • Proof October 7, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Particular attention should be paid to those local and state officers who are charged with monitoring and maintaining the integrity of our elections.

  • Maggie Thornton October 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I tend to listen with only one ear to local politics, but of course I always vote and understand the issues – but showing up a Council meeting, etc, is something I have not done. My state and city are so conservative, I seldom have a complaint – other than the dreaded sales tax.

    These are wonderful points John.

  • John Carey October 7, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    I understand what you are saying Larry, but I truly believe that the state option is becoming the only option. I hope I'm wrong and that the good conservatives we elect this November will act in a way that respects constitutional law. Maybe if we can change things at the local level it will move to the state and then national. Thanks for your comments.

  • John Carey October 7, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    I couldn't agree more Steve. Well said.

  • John Carey October 7, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    I agree Proof we need to keep our eyes on the ball. Especially when electing the Secretary of State.

  • John Carey October 7, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Thank you Maggie. Always stay engaged in local politics.

  • Matt October 8, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    That was a great one John. It's so easy to get distracted by all the garbage in DC, it's easy to miss the rest.

  • John Carey October 8, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    It is indeed Matt easy to lose our focus. The truth is we need to unplug from the system and start clean and this will only happen at the state level. I know you disagree with an Article V Convention but the way I see it is we're running out of options. The constitution is already being ignored. Over and over they use the commerce clause to regulate every aspect of our lives and now judges are agreeing with this. If we continue to travel down this path there will be very little freedoms and liberties left.