Local Politics Is the Strategy

We’ve experienced a national tragedy recently with the Supreme Court redefining a few different terms. Like a legislative body legislating against gravity, they are ultimately showing their arrogant denial for what is, in order to try and create their fantasy of what is not. It’s a progressive, utopian agenda, based on the belief that all men should be servants to government, instead of the sovereign individuals that God created them to be, with government’s duty being to serve the citizens and protect their rights.

This in itself is not the moral decline that has been affecting our country for three hundred years; it is just a shocking reminder of that ongoing decline. It is a sign of the advancing thought process that sees government as the god who will watch over us and demands submission from us. The next step, as so many thoughtful commentators have pointed out, and as testified to by government lawyers in the latest case, is the trampling of religious liberty.

Nationally, we’ve had not only Supreme Court decisions, but have been betrayed by our Senators in their approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership fast track, with the TPP being the largest public surrendering of US Sovereignty ever contemplated. However, I’m only talking about what’s happening nationally to bring focus on the fact that real political change will only come about by starting at the local level.

While I participate in elections for our national representation and send occasional emails about what needs to be done, I certainly don’t believe that I, or most individuals, have much influence on what goes on in Washington, D.C. At the State level, especially in Alaska, we can exert more influence, and that is certainly worth putting some effort into. What I’ve seen though is that we can really have an effect on the local level.

History has often shown that a small percentage of vocal hard-working people can have a large influence on our culture and in politics. Historical numbers have shown that it is really about 3% of the population that makes a difference in elections. Just last year in Fairbanks we had a local election turnout of 16.9%, and a major ballot issue was decided by 355 votes, which was about half a percent.

Let’s look at consequences of local elections to see the long and short-term impacts they make. The negative consequences of not participating are huge as our local borough learned with a last minute tax increase of half a mill taking school district funding to record levels. A note about that funding is that the mill rate increase later went down to a quarter mill when assessments increased, but the school district had saved half of the money instead of using it, so the increase in taxes ended up only putting money into the school district’s savings accounts. The loss of property rights are another easy way to see negative results of not participating in the local elections, and in our borough specifically the loss of ability to be able to cost-effectively heat your home.

Now let’s look at some benefits of participation. A big one is the principle of interposition. This is based on a core principle of the American system where individuals are sovereign and more local layers of government are more sovereign than less local ones. This is a principle that has been used by states to stop federal government encroachment in the past. It also applies to local government vs the state or feds. This is why county sheriffs are the most powerful law enforcement agent in their local jurisdiction, and can dictate to federal or state agents. This local power has been used even here in Fairbanks to revolt against the MTBE additive the federal government tried to push on us some years ago with its usual lack of science and research. That push got the State to interpose and declare they weren’t going to obey that edict, and we ended up winning and stopping that awful agenda. As the EPA has now even decided to regulate ditches on roads, it is a ripe environment for local governments to protect their citizenry from out-of-control federal regulators.

Another aspect of local elections is that many, many state and federal politicians get their start on the local level. Ben Franklin was on the City Council, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson both began on local bodies (House of Burgesses), Sam Adams was elected Tax Assessor/Collector of Boston, and the list goes on. By taking a long-term view of politics, it is a good investment to pay attention to local elections, and helping conservatives get elected, so that in the future you can have those conservatives fighting tax increases at the state level.

Conservatives not going to the polls leaves the selection process to those who have a vested interest in increasing government spending. Two-thirds of FNSB assembly members elected in the last three years voted for the completely unnecessary tax increase. Ultimately, modern politics is a war between those who believe that we should be economic slaves of government and those who feel we should be able to lead our lives as we see fit. When you don’t show up for the largest battle every year, then you are just ceding ground to those who seem to despise individual, economic and religious liberty. Rome fell to barbarians even though there were plenty of men to defend its walls. The citizens of Rome just gave up and left their positions because of apathy, not caring anymore about their city being destroyed, but the end result of that was their own property and lives being decimated. The strategy of local participation is what can protect our rights, staying home on voting day is how to lose them.

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