Local Elections

For real change, make local elections a top priority

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For real change, make local elections a top priority

Can you name the Vice Pres­i­dent of the United States? How about the two U.S. Sen­a­tors in your state? All mem­bers of Con­gress (or at least your own district’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive)? Gov­er­nor? If you’re read­ing this, chances are good that you can eas­ily answer these ques­tions because you’re at least a lit­tle inter­ested in politics.

How about your Mayor? Any or all city coun­cil mem­bers? School board mem­bers? County Audi­tor? Unfor­tu­nately, this is where many Amer­i­cans start to fail the test. Admit­tedly, I would have failed the test a cou­ple of years ago. Like many Amer­i­cans, I voted for local elec­tions based upon name recog­ni­tion, party affil­i­a­tion, or whether or not I’d received a flyer or received a knock on my door. I spoke to a woman the other day who said she voted for who­ever had a sign in her next-​door neighbor’s yard because “that lady keeps up with this stuff.”

Every Amer­i­can should keep up with this stuff. It’s THAT important.

When I started flirt­ing with the idea of leav­ing the GOP last year, I explored sev­eral third par­ties. I sat on con­fer­ence calls with lead­ers of one party, had an audi­ence with the chair of another, and spoke directly to three third-​party Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. Invari­ably, the dis­cus­sions were dis­cour­ag­ing. It wasn’t that they didn’t have good ideas. It was that only one party could answer an impor­tant ques­tion: “What are you guys doing to win local elections?”

They were all sink­ing time, money, and energy into get­ting their Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date on bal­lots, but only one party was actively run­ning in local elec­tions. They made it clear that they weren’t actu­ally giv­ing much sup­port to local can­di­dates, but at least a few peo­ple were will­ing to use their party’s name a reg­is­tra­tion to run for office. I tracked back to see how many elec­tions they’d won over the years. 13, includ­ing two in 2016. How could a party that was sink­ing all of their resources into a futile Pres­i­den­tial race think it was okay to put next to zero effort into local elections?

This is why I helped form the Fed­er­al­ist Party.

Local elec­tions ARE impor­tant. They don’t get the press cov­er­age. The peo­ple who win these offices can’t bomb Syria or impose tar­iffs on Canada. On the other hand, they make deci­sions that directly affect our lives. They choose the way many of our chil­dren receive their edu­ca­tion. They set guide­lines to either encour­age or dis­cour­age busi­ness growth. Some bring com­mu­ni­ties together. Oth­ers divide com­mu­ni­ties fur­ther apart. It’s imper­a­tive that we all start pay­ing closer atten­tion to the races and lead­ers that live next door. That’s not to say the peo­ple in DC are not impor­tant, but they receive too much empha­sis com­pared to the politi­cians in our own backyards.

As a party, we intend to focus on local elec­tions from two per­spec­tives. First, we want to iden­tify prin­ci­pled can­di­dates and win local races. Then, we want to local­ize decision-​making as much as pos­si­ble for the nation. There is cur­rently way too much influ­ence com­ing from DC in areas they’re sim­ply not qual­i­fied or empow­ered to addressed.

There are areas in which the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should hold the power. These have been clearly enu­mer­ated. It’s time to return the rest of the power of gov­ern­ment where it belongs: states, coun­ties, cities, com­mu­ni­ties, and most impor­tantly to indi­vid­ual Americans.

Can you name the Vice President of the United States? How about the two U.S. Senators in your state? All members of Congress (or at least your own district’s representative)? Governor? If you’re reading this, chances are good that you can easily answer these questions because you’re at least a little interested in politics.

How about your Mayor? Any or all city council members? School board members? County Auditor? Unfortunately, this is where many Americans start to fail the test. Admittedly, I would have failed the test a couple of years ago. Like many Americans, I voted for local elections based upon name recognition, party affiliation, or whether or not I’d received a flyer or received a knock on my door. I spoke to a woman the other day who said she voted for whoever had a sign in her next-door neighbor’s yard because “that lady keeps up with this stuff.”

Every American should keep up with this stuff. It’s THAT important.

When I started flirting with the idea of leaving the GOP last year, I explored several third parties. I sat on conference calls with leaders of one party, had an audience with the chair of another, and spoke directly to three third-party Presidential candidates. Invariably, the discussions were discouraging. It wasn’t that they didn’t have good ideas. It was that only one party could answer an important question: “What are you guys doing to win local elections?”

They were all sinking time, money, and energy into getting their Presidential candidate on ballots, but only one party was actively running in local elections. They made it clear that they weren’t actually giving much support to local candidates, but at least a few people were willing to use their party’s name a registration to run for office. I tracked back to see how many elections they’d won over the years. 13, including two in 2016. How could a party that was sinking all of their resources into a futile Presidential race think it was okay to put next to zero effort into local elections?

This is why I helped form the Federalist Party.

Local elections ARE important. They don’t get the press coverage. The people who win these offices can’t bomb Syria or impose tariffs on Canada. On the other hand, they make decisions that directly affect our lives. They choose the way many of our children receive their education. They set guidelines to either encourage or discourage business growth. Some bring communities together. Others divide communities further apart. It’s imperative that we all start paying closer attention to the races and leaders that live next door. That’s not to say the people in DC are not important, but they receive too much emphasis compared to the politicians in our own backyards.

As a party, we intend to focus on local elections from two perspectives. First, we want to identify principled candidates and win local races. Then, we want to localize decision-making as much as possible for the nation. There is currently way too much influence coming from DC in areas they’re simply not qualified or empowered to addressed.

There are areas in which the federal government should hold the power. These have been clearly enumerated. It’s time to return the rest of the power of government where it belongs: states, counties, cities, communities, and most importantly to individual Americans.