Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 20 of ?

This election will change things throughout the United States, and in Dalton Township. Predicting what that change will be is more difficult. In Dalton there are three possible directions.

Vaclav Havel led the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. He points out in 'The Power of the Powerless' that when you start to live in truth you put pressure on those in power. Government officials that have become overly controlling only have two ways that they can respond when people start taking responsibility and demanding recognition of their unalienable rights: repression or adaptation.

If the current regime stays in power in Dalton Township they will have a choice to make. They can either repress people more, and gather more control unto themselves. Or, they can adapt to some of the proposals I've made to limit their own power and make themselves more transparent. Those are the first two options.

The third option is to choose change via the ballot box. I've been asked what I will do if I'm elected. People know that I strongly support freedom and individual rights. Will I radically alter the way Dalton Township currently does everything?

It's a good question. Thomas Jefferson faced the same situation when he was elected President. He was a much stronger supporter of personal liberty than Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party. But, Hamilton's policies of centralization and protectionism had been highly influential for 12 years. Would Jefferson change everything to fit his ideals? No. This is a misunderstanding of the function of an ideal. The purpose of an ideal is to set a direction. It is progress to be moving in that direction. Change must occur in such a way that people can plan for it. People need time to think about it and debate it. Ideals are important to set our course. And we move toward those ideals one step at a time.

I've also been asked if I'll win the election. I do not know. There is a phrase from the 16th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that goes, "By the grace of God and the will of the people." I like that phrase. There's a lot of truth in that phrase.

Most important to me is whether I have fulfilled my acquired moral obligations as a citizen of a free society. When I started fighting for individual rights in Dalton Township 17 months ago I had a distaste for politics. Now, my distaste is stronger. But, as Grover Cleveland says in 'Good Citizenship', "Every citizen should be politician enough to bring himself within the true meaning of the term, as one who concerns himself with the regulation or government of a nation or State for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity." Or, as it's put in 'Alexander Solzhenitsyn Speaks to the West', "That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility.'

So, my moral duty to resist tendencies toward tyranny? Fulfilled. My moral duty to provide people with an option for change? Fulfilled. My moral duty to inform others of their available choice? Fulfilled.

As Dante Alighieri put it in 'The Divine Comedy':

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One thing alone I'd have you plainly see:
so long as I am not rebuked by conscience,
I stand prepared for Fortune, come what may.

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John Adams and George Washington liked a similar quote from the play 'Cato' by Joseph Addison:

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'Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it.

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It is now time for all citizens to confront their own conscience; to make their own moral choice. The choices that determine the fate of communities, nations, and humanity. It is the choices of individuals that change things. And change, like choice, is unavoidable.



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