How Local Are You?

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend candidate forums for my upcoming local elections in Marietta, Georgia.  To give you some background, I live in the county seat of one of the “reddest” counties in what would probably be the “reddest” state, if not for the ultra-“blue” Atlanta, in the nation.  During the candidate forums for mayor, city council, and school board, nearly all of the candidates amazed me by saying nothing remotely “conservative” when it comes to the spending by the government in our community.

Though our mayor, city council, and school board are elected via non-partisan elections, I estimate that the vast majority of the candidates align themselves with the Republican Party.  As I can attest from what I saw at the candidate forums, Republicans have learned nothing from their drubbings in the Congressional elections of 2006 and 2008, as they are STILL all too happy to spend other people’s money under the banner of the party who keeps promising to be one of limited government.  As the Tea Party Movement develops, many establishment Republicans highlight their “libertarian streaks,” and the “progressive” wing of the Democrat Party dominates the Congressional agenda, these local aspiring politicians seem content to continue operating as the “compassionate conservatives” of the George W. Bush era, marginalized by being “more of the same.”

While that style of Republican may have been popular ten years ago, before the worst Presidential administration since World War II, it is apparent that voters reject it at the ballot box today.  Instead, they choose the party known for big spending, where at least they know what they are likely to get, or they seek alternatives, like we are seeing in New York’s 23rd Congressional district.  While a special election, not subject to the draconian ballot access of a general election, the people in NY-23 have three choices to replace President Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Army, John McHugh.

You don’t have to worry.  This is not another in a long list of articles persuading readers how the people of New York’s 23rd district should vote.  Instead, it is an observation of how, locally, those of us who are liberty-driven have not worked hard enough to fill the “farm team” with people we can get passionate about and push upward as opportunities present themselves.  Had the “Ron Paul R3VOLution” been able to produce a viable candidate, that may have resulted in some notoriety, and possibly a Congressional seat, for the liberty movement.  Unfortunately, they were not able to get “one of us” on the ballot, forcing the voters to choose among the lesser of three evils.

How can we prepare for such an opportunity?  We can make incumbents by staying active locally to get our city councils, county commissions, mayors, school boards, and state legislatures filled with liberty candidates, so that we can take advantage when the opportunity arises.  As seats open or statist incumbents weaken their hold, we will have someone with experience who can win an election waiting in the wings.  This will take some Karl Rove or David Axelrod type planning, so it will not happen over night.

There is an opportunity awaiting the voters of Georgia in 2014 with five years left to plan, as Saxby Chambliss will be relinquishing his Senate seat, which will likely lead to many “down ballot” openings.  Not every opportunity will have that much preparation time, so what you do locally now will pay off in a few short years.  How else can you explain going from State Senator in Springfield, Illinois to living in the White House in just a few years?

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