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EDITORIAL: They should at least know ‘all politics is local’

Where does government begin?

Where does it end?

Individual.

Neighborhood.

City Hall.

County Courthouse.

Statehouse.

Capitol Hill.

White House.

But, that is only in theory.

Politicians, regardless of what level of government, seem to think that more often than not government begins and ends with them.

Individual rights should stand before all rights.

When the individual is not free, the nation is not free.

Freedom begins with the rights of the individual.

That is the only way democracy really works.

Every time any legislator at any level of government considers any legislation the most important question to ask is, “How does this affect individuals?”

Sadly, it hardly seems that people run for office in pursuit of public service.

In reality, it seems, most politicians are merely running for a job.

Given the amount of money paid out to U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, State Senators, State Representatives, County Commissioners or City Council members our elected officials should scarcely be considered “servants.”

For example, our state legislators are paid more than $17,000 per year and are in session for 40 legislative days.

We have turned self-government into a professional government.

In the process, we have created government that is increasingly less and less local.

Even if they can only look at how their legislative decisions will impact the election, rather than how it impacts people’s lives on a daily basis, elected officials would be wise to understand the words of former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill who observed, “All politics is local.”

When a member or members of the county’s state legislative delegation fails to support local legislation that is poor representation, a lack of public service and reason to be voted out of office.

When a member or members of a county’s state legislative delegation pushes some piece of legislation that would impact local government without the endorsement or support of the local jurisdiction or community, that is even worse representation, makes a mockery of public service and is an even better reason to be voted out of office.

The closer government is to the people, the better government is.

Citizens can use their voices.

And, they can make a stronger and more meaningful statement by using their vote.

They can use their vote to say we want the rights of individuals protected.

They can use their vote to say city and county rights must come before state’s rights.

They can use their vote to say that state’s rights matter more than the federal government.

Most importantly citizens can use their vote to send a clear message to all representatives at all levels of government that we elected them to represent the interests of citizens — not their own.

— Editor Jim Zachary