When Mel Gibson starred in the 2000 movie The Patriot, he played the role of colonial father and farmer Benjamin Martin. Martin was portrayed as a prominent South Carolina resident whose word carried weight amongst all classes of men and women. In a meeting of the South Carolina Assembly, a discussion for vote is brought up regarding whether to take up arms against King George of England over his oppressive taxes and other ways against the Colonials. In the meeting, Martin (Gibson’s character) poses the following question:
Why would you trade 1 tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants less than 1 mile away
The movie made famous the real quote uttered by Mather Byles, Cotton Mather’s grandson, to Nathaniel Emmons in Massachusetts. The point of the quote was a very real issue of where the power of a representative republic truly lies. In a monarchy, it was assumed all power was with the royal family. Of course, monarchies do not exist without their own power structure, so that is hogwash.
By instituting a true representative republic, our founding fathers took a huge gamble on how our political structure would evolve and survive. I think it is safe to assume they had no idea of the goliath America would become in elected representation through the sheer number of officials. Have you ever thought of how many local, county, state, and federal elected officials there are in the US? The best data I could find was from 1992 that stated the US had a total of 510,497 popularly elected state and local elected officials. Not sure if that included county officials or not.
When you think of all of the offices that can be elected from School Board on up in every village, town, city, county, and state in the nation, I think it is a safe estimate that we have over 500000 elected officials in total in the US of A. That means we have over 500000 people who can do their job and serve the public or allow their elected position to make them behave as tyrants. It is a fine line between the two.
The reason I bring this up is to make a very eye-popping point of the conservative battle we are in and the numbers we have to recruit, fund, help with campaigns, and then be sure we don’t elect the next tyrant to be. The liberals began to take over the nation over 80 years ago and they began at the lower rung in politics – local elections. They were shrewd in their methods of who and how they recruited. Then they went after the county offices and then the state assemblies. Friends – when you control and run the local to state machine, you can and will control who goes to DC. Barry would not be at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave right now if years of setting up the local, county, and state machines had not been in place. If you ever want to see a real power struggle, go attend a County Commissioners Court or your City Council meetings. That is where the wars are fought and won over the local freedoms (or lack thereof) afforded to Joe and Jane Citizen.
As we enter into primary season, the most attention is always given to the federal elections. Those are important – but do not ignore your local, county, and state elected officials.
It’s not 3000 tyrants 1 mile away…..
It’s over a half million of them….