This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Politics is Personal

This site, while I hope it will serve as a gathering point for people who want to make a difference in local issues, has also become a type of journal for me and my efforts to do the same. A record as it were of my growth in the knowledge of the issues in my neighborhood. Of my journey back into my neighborhood. I’m trying to base most of what I blog on positive things in my surroundings. I’m finding that my attitude is changing toward the positive as well. I look at that as a good thing. In the current atmosphere almost revolutionary. There is plenty of the negative around. Plenty of hate.

In looking for the positive and the good, I’m finding it. I’m meeting neighbors, actually talking with neighbors about stuff. Not just political stuff, but our problems. I’m trying to figure out ways that I can have an input into those problems. When I find something that I do that works I blog about it. That is what politics is to me. Listening to myself and neighbors, finding out what the problems are then formulating a plan to help make a difference in my life and the life of my neighbors. This to me is the essence of politics. Thomas “Tip” O’Neal said “All Politics Is Personal”. All the decisions made by politicians at all levels affect people on a personal basis. To think otherwise leads to elitism and condescension. To earn a person’s vote, a politician has to earn their trust first. The voter has to know the politician will try to actually do something. Once elected that politician has to keep earning that trust by actually doing things, constantly trying to make things better.

This blog “Bottom Up Politics” is meant to stress this idea. For me it is helping me clarify my common sense. It is helping me use that common sense in solving or helping to lessen problems on a local level. I find that as with most things there is not a magic pill cure for problems. My common sense tells me that. What I see is that I and my neighbors are plenty capable of helping ourselves when we have an attitude that is positive. When we see a pathway through a problem. Hope is that key ingredient that is usually missing. Actually trying to figure out one small problem I realize that this requires time and investment. That investment is best when it is of time, personal effort, and then money. In that order the solutions seem to hold up longer.

One problem in my Neighborhood I see is the lack of caring for what is in it. Lack of pride if you will. Pride starts in the small things. I compliment people on things I see them doing that I would like somebody to compliment me on. Kind of a do onto others thing. I see someone cleaning their yard, I tell them the truth. “Hey your yard looks nice”. I just invested a little time and effort and was repaid by the person’s reaction or mine. No grant money was exchanged, not grant proposals were written or meetings held. I’m trying to also highlight small business in the area and the people who are risking much of their investment of time and effort not to mention money. I do this not so much as the publicity angle but to let my neighbors look at these businesses in a more personal way. As something good and needed in the Neighborhood. As members of the community. Their neighbors. Also to give a pat on the back to the people running that particular business. Let them know that they are doing a good thing. This to me is the essence of Conservatism. Rewarding people who provide good things for other people. That reward is based upon how well they fill that need. It is voted on every day by people with their pocket books. Democracy in action every second of everyday. A lot of these efforts will fail, I just try to highlight the good I see. In the big picture, I see the essence of Conservatism as a way to facilitate these people. Not just facilitating business by keeping the bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through to a minimum: but to also facilitate any one or group that is trying to help through the bureaucratic method. Using grant money ect. Make that work better too. I call it the social side of things. I believe in better more efficient government then when possible smaller government. We have government, we always will, let us find ways to “facilitate” or make the access to it more flexible and easy. Let’s make it work. Let us try to figure ways to get the free enterprise thing involved when that serves the purpose.

Well before I get too sappy I’ll close. I have a meeting to go to in Lansing with a fellow blogger (we’re splitting the gas) (plus free lunch then a BBQ later all free) to talk with some people I’ve only seen and read from afar whom I admire. This will deal with education and different ways to help facilitate actually helping the students. There is some dead time in between things in which I would love to see some “big shot” legislators.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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