Local elections are the best way 
to assume control of government

It’s government shutdown week, and political pundits are supposed to comment about the Federal Department of Nail Clipper Inspectors closing its doors and large swathes of the population now being at risk for toe injury and so forth.

What’s actually alarming is that so much of the population can be made to feel dependent on the federal government. Way back in the ‘60s, about the only thing the average person would notice with the federal government being off-line for a while was that the mail wasn’t getting picked up. For those unfamiliar with the United States Postal Service, it is the agency that owns the vehicle that sometimes blocks the FedEx truck from delivering your package.

Most of the media coverage is really geared toward trying to find someone to blame, which is to say Republicans, because that’s who the media are always trying to blame. And with them blaming each other, it makes it just that much easier.

I understand that this all has something to do with George Bush, Ronald Reagan or Calvin Coolidge, for all they can tell. Personally, I think the problem started with Nathan Hale and all that business about the country being so important, maybe even more important than people getting their Obama phones on time.

Here’s how we can start preventing this bowl of balderdash from being regularly served up to the American public: Let’s elect competent and conservative people to school boards.

A shocking and disappointing amount of money is spent on education. The shocking part involves a 250 percent increase in spending (adjusted for inflation) over the last 30 years, which has brought us the disappointing part: remedial classes at the university level trying to get students to a baseline in subjects such as English that would have been unsatisfactory in a high school freshman not long ago.

Many of us try to move the great sullen boulder of national government without having a firm place to stand while attempting it. The best way to give ourselves solid footing is by having responsive and responsible local representation that the community can rally around and support. The advantage of this on a grander scale is that it keeps people involved, coordinated and aware of the effect state and federal decisions have on local programs and economy.

We get much more performance out of a little door-knocking and meet-and-greets in people’s living rooms for these types of local boards and positions than we ever do for Congress and the presidency.

That’s not to say we should stop working on state and national politics, but it does mean that it’s a form of guerrilla warfare, where we slowly take back the political countryside while seeking more efficient use of our tax dollars.

In the case of a school board, we also may have a shot at turning out better educated and more productive citizens. I wouldn’t mind students being taught about global warming in school if they were educated enough to know that it’s a bunco scheme. It would also be great if they could properly use the word “albeit” in a sentence and add two numbers without using the calculators on their phones.

We won’t accomplish that if we allow political races to be dominated by progressive pressure groups like the Colorado Education Association and Mesa Valley Education Association, unions that are little but subsidiaries of the Democratic party that want to use the myth of nonpartisan elections to obscure candidates’ political affiliations and core beliefs.

While the local chapters contain many good people, the agendas are set far away from our snug hamlet. In general, the Colorado education lobby has more in common with the Teamsters Union than it does with the parents in District 51. If you doubt that, look at the monetary support given by them to non-educational topics such as fighting right-to-work laws in Colorado.

Nonpartisan elections are constructed to allow contenders to enter the fray without a nominating or primary process, thereby keeping small, local elections open to all.

They are not some sort of costume party, where those with unpopular views that might be gleaned from their associations with a political party are allowed to be unmasked only after election.

Groups critical of people saying who they are seem afraid that they might be asked who they really are.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.


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