Friday, November 04, 2005
Don't be a lazy bastard, go vote next week.
For those of you who think we vote every four years and only two people run for office, shame on you. There are more offices to vote for than that of President of the United States. And honestly, the ones that matter most to your daily life are the the elections that center around your local town and county.
Chances are, that if your town sucks and nothing is getting done its the fault of your local politicians. If your police force is more like Super Troopers than NYPD Blue its not the President's fault. Yet we seem to always blame our own state of being on the guy "ultimately responsible". Thats not really fair. See, our country was meant to have strong local government and public involvement in that system. Sure, Federalism calls for a somewhat strong centralized government - but we've gone way to far with it. Everything is put on the national level now. We need to put an end to that.
There are a few examples for this, like congressmen getting federal money local roads, funding state school programs and things like this. These are all state or local projects, and they should stay that way. So why does all this come down from the federal level? Well I think there are several reasons, but the one I want to focus on is local politics - people just don't care about them.
Here's how this works.
Local politicians have their hands in the local media, nothing of any worth gets reported about them. People watch national media outlets, this is because in our time we have all become nationally focused. An example of this mentality is that nobody wants to stay in their hometowns anymore because their afraid they'll be viewed as a failure. This is poppy-cock, and a topic for another time. Therefore, the media focuses on national politics. Politics is dramatic, so the bigger the better as they say. This gives the people focus only on national politics, because its whats on TV and radio all day long. What happens is that Congressmen and Senators don't get re-elected if they don't produce for their area, so they spend tons of pork on local projects that the state and local people should do. Nobody cares about local politics because they don't matter anymore. Everything important is federalized.
A great example of this is the Katrina mess. The fact that there were still people left in the city to get trapped was a local problem. Most of that mess down there had nothing to do with the federal government, yet President Bush got hammered for not doing enough. Well I say "Enough already!" Truth is that the local government headed for the hills while they waiting for "daddy Federal" to come in and hold their hands.
My whole point is that local politics is immesurably important. If we take a greater interest in our local areas, then the federal level will take care of itself. By making our local politicians more accountable to us in every way, we are making every politician in Harrisburg, Dover, Albany, or Washington listen just that more carefully. We will be a more informed public, a more understanding public, and a less reactionary, less knee-jerk republic. Heck, maybe even a few more of us will actually run for an office.
Next week we all have a chance to get out there and support our local candidates. Please, take some time this week to learn about your local politicians and then VOTE for them. Encourage your family members and friends to do so as well. This way when the pot-hole on your street doesn't get fixed next spring, you'll know who to call.
Here's a hint, he doesn't live in the White House.