As he casts his first tentative glance at political participation, the beginner can easily make the age-old mistake of “concentrating on the forest instead of the trees.” He recognizes the fact that political parties play a dominant role in politics, but he is inclined to think of them in terms of a national election, far removed from hometown USA. He would be less than human if he did not wonder how he could make an appreciable impact in such a system.
The beginner—even as the professional in politics already does—should also concentrate on the individual trees: the precinct, the ward, the town, the school board.
Political parties are composed of thousands of individual political organizations. In the final analysis, the success of the party depends upon the effectiveness of these organizations. That “elections are won and lost in the precincts” is a political truism. One person can do a lot. A handful of votes can change the result in many local elections; even the majorities that run into millions in a presidential election are built up one vote at a time. The election of Lyndon B. Johnson to the Senate in 1948 and the election of John Kennedy in 1960 over Richard Nixon for President are examples of elections decided by less than one vote per precinct. It is not unusual for school board members to be elected by less than five percent of the electorate. Frequently less than one-tenth of one percent of the people in a precinct attend the local precinct meetings of either major political party. In such a case, the voice of one sound patriot could be that of the hundreds of people who are absent.
What if America’s Founding Fathers had prejudged the future and fallen for the notion that there is no interim hope for a better world? What if they had not asserted Judeo-Christian principles into politics and public education? The cultural tone of freedom is a sacred, down-to-earth responsibility of yours and mine. Its air of justice and greatness can only permeate the citizenry when asserted and upheld in the public arena by the believers in responsible liberty and traditional American Principles upon which liberty is sustained. This means personal involvement. Speak out in politics, city councils and school boards for cultural standards upon which freedom can prosper.
~ D. Norris