Friday, April 25, 2008


------My first real peak into the real world of political action has me up against the ropes, the opponent is overwhelming and coming at me from all quarters. Even those I thought would be possible allies I see little hope for. I don’t know if I should try to enter into the political arena as the prospect of furthering my ideas seems small to non-existent.
------This torrent of self doubt, was brought about today by attending a workshop for people who might be interested in running for elected office. It was put on by the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce. A generous and broad selection of local office holders from the city, township and county were on the panel. Plus reps from the various government agencies such as education, diversity and other advocacy groups. Both political parties were represented.
------The first part was informative with local politicians talking about what it is really like to give up your privacy and a lot of other things including free time to run for political office. They also talked about the pluses. A good presentation by each about the practical side of things. The mechanics of it all. They mentioned the idea of thinking out your basic reason or theory behind what you do and why. Because in the nitty gritty of talking with so many people having differing ideas you must know your own, to be able to follow it, in order to sleep at night. As a conservative I think I know my ideas pretty well.
-----What devastated me was that my ideas were not even on the table. The thought that making government smaller is a good thing did not fit here. The thought would never enter their minds. That part of the problems they were discussing might actually be caused by big government, even as a concept would be a completely alien thought. Every discussion had at it’s root the concept that a larger government would be a better government. Every advocacy group would agree with that. What of our representatives? They seemed too busy trying to decide what advocated plan to follow.
-----I don’t know what I expected to find. I guess I thought that some of the discussion of problems would be based upon something I could get behind. Ideas that promoted less and more efficient government were not on the agenda. Even the elected officials were mainly interested in promoting bigger ideas. Everyone seemed in vague agreement on the idea that government can solve all problems. If only we had the “necessary money” to further our plan. I was reminded of the old “make work” idea to help the people, only now it was “make a need by crisis” to help the government.
-------Things such as mergers of smaller governmental units into larger ones. Things like merging the two hospitals we have was looked upon as good. The thought that it might not be was not on the table as a possibility. I lost one elected official whom I thought might be sympathetic to my point of view when he stated he thought one problems the government has in creating a good land use plan (zoning) plan was the old archaic freedoms we brought over from England. The freedoms of what we are allowed to do with our land makes for a Hodge podge of laws ect. The idea that we in Michigan had one of the highest use of land per person and somehow that was a bad thing. It all seemed to boil down to the fact that the government gets less tax money that way. This guy was dead serious. He was precisely right as far as the money goes.
-----Another fellow representing water safety or water rights or something, talked about the great lakes water and how the government controls it. OK I was still on board until he started talking about water tables and getting rid of curbs and gutters which took the rain water and moved it out from where it fell and put it into the lakes and streams ect and not where it could percolate to the aquifer. OK maybe still on board. But when he talked of “enabling” legislation already passed to map all the aquifers and how his department could tell us if we had one in our backyards and how neat that was, the “enabling” legislation kept rattling around in my brain, enabling what? Then he mentioned some of the bad things (companies) did when taking out water from the aquifer, and putting in. Always with the caveat of large bad things, while for now seemingly the small bad things that (you and I) did was OK. I started having pictures in my paranoid brain of it being illegal to pump my own water, from my yard. Well I DIGRESS (sometimes too much!)!!
------I truly understand how and why the function of our elected people who are to represent our freedom are swayed by the different advocacy groups. If for example I was a Senator and wanted to find out about a certain topic. Position papers from across the spectrum would flood my office all well researched by professionally trained researchers presented in striking fashion complete with talking points. All I would have to do is pick one. Remember as a Senator or whatever, I would be flooded with different topics of which I would know very little. This could be a great way to save time and money for me so I could concentrate on my own pet projects. The whole point of the above is not to show the bad or good aspects of the process, but to show that there seems to be a topic lacking in the process. An advocacy group not present, a position paper not written.
------The problem with this as I see it is that the position paper I pick and get behind would be slanted by the person, company or bureaucracy that wrote it. I as a Senator should be obligated to write my own position paper slanted towards the people I have been entrusted to represent.
-----Simply stated our elected officials, the people to whom is delegated by us , the only power that we the people have, are giving that power to the pressure groups. Remember too that government itself is a pressure group. I imagine the pressure upon national candidates from the different bureaucracies is enormous to stick to the status quo. Too bad we can’t put term limits on those groups. The bigger the government, the more money is available and the more position papers will be available. My goal is to create less need for more position papers. We have had enough.
------Time to make the hard decisions.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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