…OR TO THE PEOPLE
I often find myself at odds with many of my fellow (local) conservatives. I like to think I’m a team player but at the same time, I also feel I’m not a pawn on someone’s chessboard to be moved and (if needed) sacrificed. It seems that recently, I’ve had my “team player” card revoked. To some, this might be enough to prod them back into the herd. For me, it led me to some soul searching…”why do I not care”?
When I began my battles with government, there wasn’t really a herd. Another way of putting it is…I joined the war by starting a battle. In the course of waging my battle against local politics and government, I found others that were supportive of my issues (allies). In time, I was encouraged by my new friends to get involved at a higher level. My friends introduced me to their friends and while my list of contacts grew, I found few that shared my primary passion.
What I’ve noticed is that the further up the levels I went, there was less and less concern for local government. I’m not talking about people outside of our Township, I’m talking about people involved in the conservative cause that live right here in the Township. Many weren’t even aware of some of the huge battles being fought right in their backyards.
Winning The Battle But Losing The War
How can you claim victory at a higher level (County, State or National Level) if you ignore or concede the battles at home? In my soul searching, trying to nail down the question of “why I don’t care” if I’m considered a team player by some, I concluded that its an issue of strategy. While you won’t get a disagreement from me that State and National politics, the Republican and Democrat parties are driving our republic over a cliff…nothing they have done has affected me so personally, so quickly and so financially as did West Chester government.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Sun Tzu quotes (Chinese General and Author, b.500 BC)
I may be a novice at politics but having no experience or training, I seem to have figured out what some have forgotten…always put your money on the people.
The phrase, “All politics is local” is a common phrase in U.S. politics. The former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill is most closely associated with this phrase, which encapsulates the principle that a politician’s success is directly tied to his ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents. Politicians must appeal to the simple, mundane and everyday concerns of those who elect them into office. Those personal issues, rather than big and intangible ideas, are often what voters care most about, according to this principle. (wikipedia)
Any influence I may (appear) to have comes from the people. If anything, I am their loudspeaker, their advocate, their voice. I watched this play out three times in 7 months. Most recently in the May Primary where I won a central committee seat without really campaigning for it. The people, my neighbours, my precinct…they are my “herd” and to them I am a team player. I also consider myself to be a team player to the West Chester Township elected officials that share my limited government values.
Toe The Party Line
The last thing we need from conservative, liberty and Tea Party groups is to act like the groups that have screwed this country up. We see it everyday on the TV and internet. One by one, we see those we elected to office, those we thought to be conservatives, get absorbed by the system. The people, the causes and issues that got them elected…abandoned for “team player” status.
As I explained at a recent meeting, questioning, discussing and debating is not weakness…it is the fire we temper ourselves and our message “The Sharpest Steel is Tempered in Fire”.
“Without strategies a nation will fall, but salvation lies in much counsel” (Proverbs 11:14).
“For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6).
Team West Chester
We have to fight (and win) the battle at home before we can carry the battle across borders and win the war. I feel many of my local conservatives and especially those in the Tea Party struggle with support locally because they are…frankly speaking, absent from the local battlefield. While I didn’t wake up one day and pick a fight with government, the war for me began in my back yard. From there I took it to the street, then the neighborhood and eventually to the election booth.
My team is 3-0 and while those wins may not be headline material for the local news, not sexy enough (politically speaking) to attract much attention, they continue to resonate across the Township and will have lasting affects.
If you want to win the war…join the battle, win the people. The 10th Amendment says that’s who really has the power….
For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.