Dear Friends of Liberty,
Pragmatically speaking, I do not believe we are going to fix our nation from the top down. However, on the state, county and city levels? There we can make some inroads.
I want to say here that I am most grateful to any and all who are willing to make the sacrifices of time and money, of blood, sweat and tears necessary to put forth their names. I see them almost as the Party’s sacrificial lambs, and I appreciate their offerings. I do understand that we have to run candidates for all those offices for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to maintain ballot access. But we also have to be realistic: The likelihood of putting people into office without having first built a solid, local grassroots base, is rather slim.
The first and foremost reason to seek local municipal and county offices is because we can. We can serve there without sacrificing our employment, or using up our retirement, moving to the capitol, or even, in most cases, without significantly disrupting our lives. This is perhaps less true of the county commissions than city councils, but even those offices are still much more “user friendly” than the state offices will be found to be.
I am certain that getting people elected to office in the smaller cities and towns, and even more so in the rural venues, would be easier than in the bigger cities and it is definitely going to be cheaper. Other than paying a filing fee, in our town, many candidates spend little to no money campaigning.
A city council position is obviously a good place to start if you want to launch a campaign for the county commission. First, you will gain experience and understanding of local issues and the constraints encountered when dealing with them. Secondly, you will meet and befriend people both in government and out, who could be invaluable to your further political aspirations, should you have any. Thirdly, as you stand and work for justice and equity for the people of your community, you are naturally going to gain significant name recognition. The value of name recognition in an election doesn’t need to be expounded upon. And fourth, it is somewhat of a bully pulpit, and you may have many opportunities to teach correct principles of government to both the public, and to your fellow councilmembers.
In many ways city government is where the rubber really meets the road. You are on the front lines in the fight against several crucial encroachments on our liberties: Property Rights, Eminent Domain, Agenda 21, Food Sovereignty, Zoning, Building Code, 2nd Amendment, Nuisance Ordinances, Dogs and Cats, Spy Cameras everywhere and Eavesdropping Street Lights.
Now, let’s assume that you run for office, and that you are elected. Once you are in office, you are going to learn many things, not all of which you really want to know. Some of them will be a bit disconcerting, especially to a constitutionally minded public servant such as you will be.
The purist in you is going to want to say, “Just refuse that grant money.” Or, “If we don’t take their money, then we don’t have to be under their control.” But sadly, this is no longer the world in which we live.
The end result of all this is that we can no longer run a city or a county on the money generated by the local taxes. It is just plain and simply not possible. The governments at their various levels take a huge tax bite, and then trickles it back in the form of grants and loans that always have some provisions that escalate the costs, and sometimes often times have other strings attached. Things always seem to cost more when the government gets involved.
For example, over the past three years in my town of 1,800 people we have spent nearly $7,500 per man, woman and child to replace our water system, sewer system and now rebuild our roads. There is no possible way to raise the money for these essential projects without using federal funds. So, I want to disabuse you of any notions you might have about turning the clock back a century or so and running your town without money from the state or fed. It just isn’t going to happen. You can’t fix this problem, but, like so many other entrenched problems, you can work to keep it from getting worse.
You can wield great influence even if you are the only CP member on the council. Your city council is going to be found to be a typical committee. That is, they are going to talk a pretty good fight, but aren’t likely to do too much too fast. This is good. It gives you time to work on your fellow council members individually, and time to orchestrate others to bring their weight to bear, as well.
Now, having obtained a majority, or failing that, at least some cooperation, you are ready to begin hacking away at the problem of overgrown government in your own back yard. I liken the problem to an apple tree that hasn’t been pruned for forty years. To cut it all back in one year would likely be fatal to the tree. But you can cut down the suckers from the root stock right away, and cut a few branches this year, and a few next, and by and by you will have the thing pruned and trimmed back into a productive tree bearing good fruit. We have gotten to this point by creeping collectivism. I think we are going to have to get back by creeping constitutionalism.
Let me encourage you to run for local office. It is important. It affects people’s lives. It affects people’s homes. It affects their livelihoods. It affects the quality or their lives. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is something we can do. And it is something we can do without severe disruption to our lives. And it is doing our part. It is time to put your money where your mouth is. I encourage you to run for office this year.
Bryce Hamilton Chairman,
Constitution Party of Utah
The Constitution Party of Utah believes in upholding the Constitution of the United States in the state of Utah. Join us to make your voice heard and participate in protecting our God given rights as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.