By: Brent Steeno
3 minute read
One of the most fundamental tenets of traditional conservatism is the principle of “local control” of government (Rose, 2017). Local governments are closest to the people they are meant to serve and should be responsive to their needs, not those of distant bureaucracies or special interests. Local officials are responsible for their neighborhoods and communities, so they don’t have to rely on a far-off state capital or a federal entity in Washington, D.C.
If the events in recent years have shown us anything, it’s that Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots and Defund the Police movements have led to increased crime and billions of dollars in property destruction. The BLM riots were the “most costly” man-made damage to property in all of United States history (Nolte, 2020). If We the People want beautiful, safe and prosperous communities, we need to elect conservative leaders in all levels of government now more than ever. We must get rid of the Democrat leaders who called to defund the police, encouraged riots, and let their cities burn (Giaritelli, 2020).
As conservatives, we do not want outside influences telling us what we can and cannot do. We have to fully understand that our local governments and school boards need to be ground zero in our fight against government overreach and indoctrination. Wisconsin is a great example of how grassroots conservatives movements can lead to victory (O’Donnell, 2021). Dan O’Donnell shares that prior to 2020, many Republicans saw grassroots politics as a method reserved for Democrats. However, unification proved successful when local organization and grassroots momentum enabled conservatives all throughout southeastern Wisconsin to win back seats that had been taken by the “progressive” politicians. It takes motivated patriots banding together to make true change.
Local leadership is critical now more than ever. Conservatives need direction, organization, and purpose. Societal concerns such as critical race theory, “gender” wars, voting security, free speech, 2nd Amendment rights and the decline of traditional values have left many Americans confused and fearful about their future. America was founded on Judeo-Christian values and has always been a land of opportunity and hope (Cherry, 2007). We the People cannot let these freedoms be destroyed.
We must defend our heritage and God-given liberties. Collectively, we have to strive to make our communities once again a place where hard work and earning an honest living are rewarded. As conservatives, the God-given liberties stated in the Declaration of Independence are paramount;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”
Local elections arguably affect daily life to a greater degree than any state or federal elections (DiMatteo, 2020). Local officials impact whether the wants and needs of your community are heard and prioritized, more so than the national level officials you elect. Due to the genius of our Founding Fathers, power is given to the states, NOT the federal government. Those elected at the national level may heavily influence your community, but only if local and state governments allow them to do so. The emphasis ought to be on local offices and legislators, because self-serving national politicians are still people with their own interests and opinions outside of politics. They likely do not care about your local roads or schools, but in theory, the people you elect at the local level do (DiMatteo, 2020).
Local elections are important to conservatives because they are a daily reminder of the individual freedom and personal responsibility that made America great. If you want to have a say in how your city is run, your participation in local politics is important because it is often where ideas begin (and end). You can demand more (or less) from your city government by getting involved, attending city council and school board meetings, running for office yourself, or simply voting more often than every other year.
There is only one chance to make a difference during your lifetime, and no one can take that away from you. If you want to live in a great community, get involved in local politics and keep the faith that America will rise again. Local elections matter because this is where it all begins; we need to make sure there are conservative leaders in place to protect our citizens from those who would take our liberty from us. The conservative movement is a constant battle for freedom and will need your voice on many fronts. We will lose our way if we ever lose sight of the fact that we have been saved by God’s grace through the individual actions of everyday people like you. We must never forget that with each day that passes without people speaking out, we forfeit more and more of our rights and our future. If you don’t see what’s happening, then you’re not looking hard enough; but if you care about your legacy, your family and your friends, then every action and every vote matters.
Cherry, R. (2007, September 17). The Judeo-Christian Values of America. www.americanthinker.com. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2007/09/the_judeochristian_values_of_a.html
DiMatteo, M. (2020, October 1). Local Elections Matter | RealClearPublicAffairs. www.realclearpublicaffairs.com. https://www.realclearpublicaffairs.com/articles/2020/10/01/local_elections_matter_579244.html#
Giaritelli, A. (2020, July 15). Beyond defunding the police: Democratic leaders condone crime. Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/beyond-defunding-the-police-democratic-leaders-condone-crime
Nolte, J. (2020, September 16). Nolte: BLM Riots Are Most Costly Manmade Damage to U.S. Property Ever. Breitbart. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/09/16/nolte-blm-riots-are-officially-the-most-costly-manmade-damage-to-american-property-in-history/
Rose, M. (2017, June 4). Traditional Conservatism vs Modern Conservatism & Neo-Conservatism. Our Politics.https://ourpolitics.net/traditional-conservatism-vs-modern-conservatism-neo-conservatism/