By Guest Writer – Jeff Lichter
Everyone has spoken to someone at one time or another who arbitrarily cuts off a conversation with a remark to the effect of “I just don’t want to hear about or discuss politics.”
Most of us react with obedience to that attempt, or demand to switch the subject, by being silenced. Although this is a form of censorship, unfortunately sometimes complying is the only choice. But there is a way to keep it going even more effectively by switching to another more fruitful discussion if possible. And that is to point out that politics is really a misused word in that what it really should represent is the freedom and blessing of having a “constitutional republic of self-government.” So when you are confronted with the “no politics” alarm, respond by saying “so you don’t believe in We The People and our ability and biblically given responsibility to participate in Self-Government? The freedom to have and participate in this type of self-government is a privilege so many in the world do not have. So to me to participate in my government is what politics really is and it is not a dirty word to be avoided.”
The importance of exercising and actively participating in self-government cannot be overstated. If one simply dismisses it, they do so at their own peril. There are dire consequences it could and is currently bringing to our families, friends & neighbors and also to our states and the entire country. In short, these consequences include the loss of the entire U.S Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all our freedoms contained therein, including the first amendment of freedom of speech. Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote perfectly applies to this when he stated “we gave you a Republic, if you can keep it.” We will only keep it if we fully participate in it, as required. Another founding father, Noah Webster put it this way: “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God (Exodus 18:21). He goes on to say “If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted and laws will be made not for the public good….corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws, the public revenues will squandered…”
When citizens fail to responsibly participate in their government those governments come to an end in favor of tyrannical and dictatorial rulers. This kind of outcome is decidedly not just a conspiracy theory. Believing that no, or very limited, involvement in governmental affairs will not lead to an eventual collapse of that government is a failing to realize that so many good things do come to an end. Without arguing that the Roman government or the Soviet Union were good things, they did come to an end. Even the land of Israel, eternally blessed by God came to an end under the rule of others until it was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948.
One of the more distressing developments that is all too common in our country today is the avoidance of pastoral leadership on this subject in very many of our churches of all faiths. In favor of not offending some, more likely just very few, in their congregations, pastors avoid what they mistakenly call “politics.” They even often avoid the subject of life versus abortion, which clearly is life given by God himself and clearly should be a topic, among several others, pastors should be leading on in a clear outspoken fashion. Instead, these pastors, not all, succumb to the church vs. state fallacy and worry about being sanctioned by governmental regulation(s) for speaking on any of these “state matters.”
So, how should and does one effectively be actively involved in self-government? The first answer to that is to make sure you vote in all elections. But to vote responsibly you must have the knowledge to exercise your own informed opinion, not just a wild guess or a vote cast under the influence of other ill-informed or ultra biased voters whether they are friends or even relatives. However, to really participate actively in self-government, one must do more than just vote. To really influence what happens or even passes as law in your county, state, or country, citizens should consider attending local or county meetings where the news of what’s being considered or even submitted as proposed new law is being discussed and debated. One of the best ways to begin getting someone to actively become involved in self-government as opposed to the dirty word “politics” is to have them attend their local legislative district meetings and by considering becoming a Precinct Committeeman within that group. The following link will educate anyone on what being a Precinct Committeeman entails: www.precinctstrategy.com
There are many other ways to become an active citizen and thereby influence others including the following activities: keeping knowledgeable about what’s going on in your locality, your congressional district, your state and country (more on that in the next paragraph); join a local commission or board; attend school board and/or city council meetings; serve as a poll observer or worker; join a campaign with a candidate for office; get to actually know your local candidate by attending their events such as a campaign rally.
Being knowledgeable and concerned about “all” (local, district, regional, state, & national) is the basic task at the bottom of being able to being a contributing governmental citizen to exert the additional energy of becoming further involved as described above. That basic task is extremely difficult for the average adult these days because of not only the demands of daily living & working but even more because of the conflicting media, which makes it so hard to determine truth and makes volumes of citizens just “quit” and avoid “politics”.
But DO NOT QUIT. Make every effort to remain involved and knowledgeable if only for the sake of the next generation and of course, your own children and family. When someone says “no politics please” to you, just say that’s for them but for you it is self-government and you intend to participate in that and wish they would also.
Jeff Lichter is a resident of Gilbert and is a Precinct and State Committeeman in Legislative District 14, which mainly represents Gilbert. He has also served in the past as a teacher, franchise restaurant owner, property manager and real estate broker.