3/31/16

Think Local . . .

Have you had enough yet? Are you "over it"? The whole thing? The entire Presidential Election? Yeah. Me, too. Here's the worst part - you still have 223 days until it will be actually, you know, "over". And then there are four lonnnnnggggg years until we get to go through all "this" again.

I love politics. I have since I was a young boy. I've never been horrified by or embarrassed of politics or politicians. These folks, by their nature, are megalomaniacs and sociopaths (they woke up one day and decided to run to be the most powerful person in the world, folks, what did you possible expect?). Yet here, on the eve of the tenth Presidential election in my life time (and seventh that I've actively watched and enjoyed), I can tell you that I'm way over it. WAY over it. The name calling, the stupidity, the least-common-denominator-chasing, the media globbing attention on to whore candidates and then wondering why people are giving them so much attention. The "status" being attacked as though the very nature of political work (not "power" - "work") doesn't REQUIRE some institutional knowledge, devotion, and pragmatism. ALL of it.

So here's what I'm doing - SOMETHING. I've come to realize something very, very terrible. As BAD as 2016 is (in terms of general quality of candidates, discussion, candor, ideas, and reason-to-believe) 2020 is going to be way, way worse. If Freshman Senators and first-time-candidates aren't doing it for you and the elder statespeople of politics want nothing to do with the show WHO will run the next time? And will they be any better?

In the meantime you have big political money and long-term strategy at play with modifying the very funnel and path to power. Forget buying a President like they did in "Prez: Corn Dog in Chief" (which is a hilarious, wonderful, and charming read). These forces are doing it the more patient way. They are buying dog catchers and school board members, state legislators, and sheriffs. We now have candidates who, by their nature, are coming in to politics at the small/local level with a loyalty to money and influence and power-seekers who wish to remain clean handed.

You see where I'm going with this? We need to do SOMETHING, people. If you don't like 2016's presidential candidates (and we wouldn't blame you) think about 2020 or 2028. Or, heck, 2040 (the first Presidential election a child born today will be eligible to vote in). Are you scared? You should be.

Pay attention to your local politics. Attend city and council meetings (or at least read coverage of them). Get to know your state legislators and your Congressman. Understand what an Attorney General actually does. Remark on the real influence Secretary of State can yield. Think about who they are, what they want, who they really represent, and what drives them to office. Then decide if you want them there because - no matter what - we, ultimately, have an equal say/share of power in who actually gets there. But we have to vote. In 223 days.