who is your neighbor?

Back in January the current crop of congressmen (and women) was sent to Washington D.C. with high hopes they would clean up this mess we’re in. A pipe dream, I know, however one can still have hope.

On January 6th, we get this:

The ‘people’s House’ takes up ‘We the People’ with symbolic floor reading

I had some real mixed feeling about the whole thing. One side, I was like hey guys, do you know that there is work to be done? On the other side, it was kind of refreshing to see congress commit itself to getting back to the basics.

The United States Constitution was written to limit the power the government has over its people, in fact the government should serve the people, not the other way around. As noted several times in history the best government is that is closest to the people. It is in this spirit that the ninth and tenth amendments were added to our Constitution before it was ratified. With this idea in mind it only seems logical that our city councils and township boards would be bodies that wield the most power over a people.

That was until I see this come across from the Washington Post a little over a month ago.

Democracy inaction: Many small towns struggle to find enough candidates for local offices

At the last township meeting, there was a total of seven people who showed up. Of those who showed up, there was the clerk, treasurer and two supervisors; the third was in Vegas and was re elected by default, he was informed by text message after the meeting. The others that attended, was the snowplow driver, the wife of one the present supervisors, and of course myself. The meeting was updated regularly with updates from the game being played at Tri-valley that same evening.

I had to wonder if the people had better things to do, didn’t know or didn’t care. I went out asked a few people. I also asked others if they knew who their mayor was or who sat on their town/city council. I also asked who their state Representatives where. Then I asked the killer question, if they knew who their neighbor was.

This was a non-scientific informal poll. I would have to say that 85% of the people had no idea who their local leaders were. When I asked if they know their neighbor, I was meet with a blank stare. The people in Sioux Falls know who their mayor is, however they have no idea who sit on their council.

One gentlemen was very pointed. He stated,

?Don’t know and don’t care. The government is going to do whatever it wants to do. They don’t care about us little guys, who work for a living, until they want something, like my vote. With money being as tight as it is, I’ll sell my vote to the highest bidder.?

So much for a government by the people, for the people.

The whole idea behind local government is a sense of community, people knowing who their neighbors are. Working together to make where they live a better place. Taking back our country is not going happen in the halls of congress, in the state legislatures, or even in the town halls, it is going to happen in the backyards, and at the dinner tables, when we start working together.

Representative Stace Nelson posted on facebook:

The quote that should invoke all to action: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke Get involved in your church, get involved with your community, and let your family know how much you love them. Don’t be afraid to take a stand, but if you would be ashamed to argue your stance on an issue in front of the Lord… maybe you are on the wrong side of an issue.

He has the right idea, we should get involved, we should get to know one another. So while you are planning those summer parties and get-together extend an invite to your neighbor. If you figure out who your local leaders are, consider inviting them as well, you might pleasantly surprised to find they are normal people.

7 Replies to “who is your neighbor?”

  1. MOSES

    Have the party of no hold a town meeting onmedicare and see how many come to that,Noem are you brave enough ,or will you not show like Herseth.

  2. caheidelberger

    (Respell that headline!) That said, it’s good to hear from you again, MC! Keep those grassroots observations coming!

    I don’t know my township officers. I’m currently the only member of a three-member sewer district board (no quorum!). I do know all of my city and county commissioners… but I’m still trying to find out the names of the real bosses in Madison, the handful of elites who make the rules around a traveling card table (or so I’ve heard… stay tuned!).

    1. MC

      Head line fixed.

      I’m not talking about inviting Kristi Noem or John Thune, they have enough on their plate. How about inviting Stace or Deb Peters (Dist 9) members from your school board. You don’t have talk politics, you can just get to know each other

      1. Name

        Kristi and John would never show as they will not make a commitment to anything………..
        If they show it will be another person who says they do not represent them…………
        NO COMMITMENT is the word of politics………….

  3. William

    We live in a small rural township and we usually have at LEAST 30-35 people at our meetings. Perhaps, a certain distance between neighbors makes for more “neighborliness”. We also don’t expect “the city” to do “stuff” for us, since we don’t HAVE one – lol

    Seriously, I really enjoy the fact that our rural neighborhood gathers together at these meetings to discuss important local issues face to face. It’s not really politics, it’s neighbors working together.

    It’s not that we’re all “best friends” and some meetings can produce some pretty intense debate, but at the end of the day, we’re all “in it together”. We wave when we drive by each other, we help plow out driveways, pull stuck vehicles out of ditches, look out for each others property if someone is away from home. Most of us are living here are here “for the long haul” and some homesteads are multiple generation family farms. Most folks living here have planted “roots” here. We’re still relative “newbies” and we’ve been here for 16 years!

    In the words of John Denver, “thank GOD I’m a country boy”! =|;0)

    1. anon

      Good stuff William. We usually get 10 at our township meetings. That includes 5 officers.

      Roads aren’t very good…