What Can Eau Claire Do About our Nation?
Written By: Dan Stanley | Posted: Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Of course, this is the constant question of serious-minded people. We hear much about the problems in America, including abuse by our civil leaders, and we want to know the answer. What can we do about America and its problems? In particular I am thinking of what can we do for our country politically.
One thing we can do that has often been suggested is to get involved. True, but some have done this and have become disenchanted. What then? For them and those who have not involved themselves yet, the answer is the same. Get involved locally. Some have written on this, but I am not sure enough has been said. In my humble opinion there is no better place to start than locally. It is locally that you and I can meet face to face those in authority or in positions of power and influence regarding the government of our cities and counties.
There is something about face to face that nothing replaces. Both you and I, as well as the person across the table, have several advantages at this point. We are made human and we are accountable to each other.
Recently I met with one of our elected officials in Eau Claire. This man (his wife was with him) is one of eleven men and woman who make the ultimate decisions on how our city is run regarding its government. This oversight includes a budget of $130 million along with many decisions that affect our freedom and safety.
I can say without reservation it was a delightful meeting, leaving me with another reminder of why local, face-to-face contact is the answer. He was honest in all regards in my observation. He was articulate and answered all my questions. Not only that, but I believe he was open to reasonable influence.
Does he have a belief system? No doubt. Does it influence his decision making for the city in which I live? I am sure it does. So likewise everyone's ideology influences such decisions. To think it doesn't is to be dishonest at worst and ignorant at best. All men and women bring to the table their beliefs and influences for good or for bad. It is the nature of leadership and no amount of laws or ordinances can remove it.
In this case I am guessing we have some differences. But those can be talked about when it is good to bring them up. What is more enlightening is that this face-to-face meeting is one of the strongest vehicles to bring change to the degree it is needed and desired. This meeting gave me direction regarding how to go about influencing the city in which I live.
So, while there are many ways to do this, one is to start and persist as needed in meeting face-to-face with those in power. I now have begun to pray for this elected official. Further, I am convinced I could speak to him about things that matter to me, give reasons, and he would take it into consideration and even be affected by it. Also I know the ultimate route to pursue regarding the problem and place to address the city's irresponsible spending that supports people financially who are lazy. Too, I can press to change the unsound practice of forcing its residents to pay taxes to support such people financially.
Can you imagine what would happen in any city if hundreds of sound-thinking citizens met like this with officials in an appropriate manner? By "sound thinking" I include being constitutional in their minds, promoting freedom, personal responsibility, the removal of our welfare system, the promotion of the sheriff's office, free enterprise, privatizing education (that made some of you hesitate), removing anything that hindered freedom on your property, putting safety second to freedom and even telling the state to keep their money so we can do things our own way.
You can be sure that if only a dozen or so likeminded people began to get to know their elected officials face-to-face, have an interest in them (pray for them), inform them, persuade them logically and promote sound thinking and actions, it would have an effect. I will go further. If even one or two people did this on a consistent basis, they could begin to have an effect in the right direction. And if they could make nothing happen, they will know the next step of action because of their familiarity with local politics. They can get an increasing number of people to come face-to-face with whomever, and that official will see that in a "multitude of wise counsels there is safety, there is wisdom . . . and purpose (plans) are established" (the Bible).
This is what our elected official himself did in our neighborhood, and it worked.
Let, then, all of those who love America and desire righteousness to prevail rise up and begin to locally meet face-to-face with those in power. It works. It is now only a matter of someone doing it. Will you?
Dan Stanley is an owner and contributing editor of the Eau Claire Journal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org