“I only vote for Presidents!” Wait, What?

It’s voting season for congress, governors and district attorneys. I have been encouraging my friends and family to vote for a while now, especially my family. Today was early voting for the runoff elections before November. This is our chance to decide between real public servants or career politicians. My sweet mother, an immigrant who naturalized in 1984, has a lot to say about American politics, but I never realized how little she actually understood about our American government—until today.

As Ben Carson once said, “Politics should not be involved in government.” When he said this, it caught myself and so many off guard. That statement demanded thought. It takes a more in-depth understanding of the intended role of American government to comprehend the depths of that statement.

Sadly, too many of us don’t have that understanding, so I wanted to help bridge that gap.

You see, most of us have gotten so used to politicians being political that we’ve forgotten, or perhaps never knew, that they’re supposed to be public servants who are elected to defend their people from politics. Being an elected public servant means fulfilling the role for which that government official was elected for, not increasing personal posterity and monetary gains from underhanded deals that benefit the politician.

The elected officials’ role is supposed to be an act of service. Hence the name, “public servant.”

Which is what brings me to the point of this post–The role of government in America and why it’s so important that we vote at all election cycles, not just the presidential one.

I told you my dear mother was an immigrant–she’s from Portugal and grew up under the Communist dictator Salazar. Although he started out very good in some ways (his type of communism was not based on race, which is what kept Fascist views out of Portugal during WWII), but as the old saying goes, “absolute power corrupts, absolutely.”

And that is exactly what happened in Portugal.

Because of this,  my family thought the president had absolute power. If the president had absolute power, we would not be a Federal Republic, the means by which America is governed based on our Constitution. So I thought, “perhaps not everyone knows the importance of voting for local government officials. Maybe I can help bridge that gap.”

So I thought I would give you 5 reasons why voting for local government is so important.



Balance of Powers

I never connected the dots until I had this conversation with my family, but every time I urged them to vote for local government officials, I kept getting the response, “I only vote for presidents.” Well, this makes sense for someone who is used to communist dictatorship. “Doesn’t the president have all the power? Why do we need these guys anyways?”

In America, the president doesn’t have all the power and the reason for that is because of a term that you might remember learning in 6th grade or studying for your citizenship test called, “Balance of Powers.” This was written into our constitution by one of the brains behind drafting the document, John Adams. Our constitution closely resembles the state constitution of Massachusetts. John Adams knew, through internal struggles of his own, that in order for a government to remain in check and not become a dictatorship, there had to be equal amounts of balance of powers between the executive branch, legislative branch and judicial branch. Our executive branch can only do so much without the help of both the legislative and judicial branch, which is what keeps the executive branch, the president from too much power.

Remember it’s the legislative branch that makes the laws, so if you want hopeful and righteous laws, vote!

Since it takes Congress to make laws and the judicial branch to interpret the constitution to enforce the rule of law, our local government is the one that’s representing your state at the federal level, making sure that your state is governed according to how that specific state should be run, not boosting political interests for personal gains on behalf of the representative. (Keeping the executive branch out of these two branches is what prevents Stalins and Hitlers. More on that below.)

That’s why they are called representatives. Laws also need to be written with their constituents in mind. They need to represent their people at the federal level and hopefully, not let Californians decide how Wyoming should be run or vice versa.  They are two very different states with very different cultures which deserve their own representation, respectively.

I could write all day on this subject, but for more information on this vital topic, please take the time to educate yourself on your personal rights as an American citizen.

Remember these rights didn’t come for free.

I recommend many of Ben Carson’s town hall meetings on YouTube or his books, but specifically, “A More Perfect Union” and “America, The Beautiful.” There are also ample documentaries on YouTube on the birth of our nation and our Founders, but these are two of my favorites thus far: First Invasion and one on John and Abigail Adams.


Keeping local government locally governed

Since it takes Congress to make laws and the judicial branch to interpret the constitution to enforce the rule of law, our Congressional representatives are there to represent the interests of the people in their state at the federal level.  Simplified: This allows for the voice of each state is to be represented at the Federal, or national level. 

This prevents ideas that work in one state from overruling in another state where the idea may not be logical or functional. This also guides the entire direction of the nation with their local constituents, or people they are representing in mind.

Keeping authority at the state level means more personal freedoms for us all.


Let’s keep crime in check, locally

Nazi Germany had the secret police, the Gestapo and Estado Novo Portugal had PIDE. These are just a few examples of a police state. Federalizing law enforcement means military police enforcing the laws. It also means turning ordinary citizens into “police watch dogs” or vigilantes, which is just as dangerous. Hence, ANTIFA. What most people may not realize is who the local police department answers to. What office does law enforcement take orders from?

The Mayor and the Sheriff! And we have the power to elect or terminate them through our vote!

This is so important because one of the beauties of being the “United States” is that the states have a lot of authority, but we must keep that authority from corruption, which is where the self-correcting mechanism in the Constitution comes in–our vote is what gives our elected officials power over us. Make it count!

For example, when most of us didn’t hear about the 6 week-long rioting in Portland. Police were ordered to stand down by a locally elected official–The Mayor. Two articles explain the third world-like chaos that happened here in America in July and CBS, MSNBC and many others, even FOX, ignored this story. Read more about the mayhem that local citizens like you and I had to endure without police protection because the Mayor ordered the police to “stand down” here and here.

Moral of the story: if we don’t want a police state, research your candidates and elect trustworthy Mayors, Sheriffs, governors, district attorneys and state representatives  that will not pervert justice.  The power lies in elected officials caring more about the vision for their office as servants of the people rather than making their resume look better.

Did I mention, it’s all about being local?

Most of us rent an apartment or have a mortgage. We come home everyday after long days at work about would like to have a healthy place to live in. But say we have a mold problem in our home due to an old apartment having carpet in the bathroom. Now imagine you have young children that splash around in the bathrooms and are really good at spills, not really drying off after showers or have a toilet or sink that leaked. Now, there is a mold problem. The air is toxic and naturally, you talk to your landlord about the mold problem, that all started from carpet in the bathroom.

Problem is, they don’t have to do anything about it because there are no laws that say you can’t have carpet in the bathroom.

But what if you did have that law? How nice would it be to have someone on your side recognizing the dangers of having carpet in bathrooms. What if now you and your family are protected?

That’s because someone, in your district, maybe yourself had that problem, cared enough and went to their local precinct meetings and talked about these things and turned them into bills to be voted on or state questions that make it to the ballot.

You have that power! Find you local precinct. Call your parties’ local office and get your precinct meeting information and attend!

These are just some of the reasons why we need to be voting, not just for our presidents, but for our local government officers. If we don’t want Islam being taught in our school district, vote for your superintendents. If we don’t want transgenders reading during story time at our local libraries, vote for our mayors.

Those that believe that children need to choose their gender are already doing this.

Real change begins with boots on the ground in your area!

Too many men and women died for you and I to have a future and the freedom to keep the government a public matter, not a democracy. Parliament is largely taxation without representation. The United States is a Federal Republic, which means that government is a “public matter,” the absolute definition of a government “by and for the people.” That is why America has lasted as long it has and become as great as it is, against all odds.

But if the people don’t fulfill their roles at citizen statesmen, others will. And if “we the people” allow ourselves to become corrupt with the moral degradation from Hollywood, that is what we will have govern us and our children in the very near future.

Final Tips

So help your friends and family research their candidates. Try and open up the dialogue with others, respectively. Voting is a very personal matter. And remember if you know any immigrants. especially those that have grown up under communism, please share this with them or respectfully open up dialogue on how our government differs from a Parliament or other forms of democracy, because we are not a democracy.  Also, be as indirect as possible without being too vague. That is where the real art comes in. Europeans especially tend to be very pensive and reflective and being too direct is seen as rude in many cultures.

I hope this was helpful.

Research your local politicians and vote wisely.

Our future depends on it!




© Olivia Reid, August, 2018



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