Circles of Influence

YOU are the center of political power.  You have the rights and power.

Constitutional Government
The Constitution of the United States takes very specific and enumerated powers away from the citizens and states, granting them to the federal government.  We give power to our government.  Most people think opposite, the Constitution grants us our rights, more specifically, “The Bill Of Rights” or first 10 amendments.  The first 10 amendments further restrict federal power protecting our rights not granting them.  That is the foundation of constitutional government.  Your state has its own constitution, have you it?

Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The 10th amendment to the Constitution:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Circles
Think of each circle as a barrier, a protection of liberty.  First the city, then county, state and the states as a union protected by the federal government.  States had constitutions before the federal government, they voluntarily agreed to join the union.  (Article 7 of the constitution is about the ratification of that agreement.)  Our system is one of separated and divided power, or, “Circles of Influence”, (who has and should have influence over our daily lives)  We have lost the state’s ability to push back and check the power of the federal government.

The circles are a two way street.  We have a limited ability to control or change the federal government.  Our founders, knowing power centralized in a faraway place could not easily be controlled, limited the federal government by a constitution with explicit and enumerated powers.

How likely are you to know the character and principles of your city council, school board, county commissioner, state representative, federal representative or the President?  I will guess in that order from most likely to not at all.  Your city and county officials are likely your neighbors, easy to meet and be heard.  Sadly most of us do not know our local representatives or made an attempt to know or interact with them.  Too many pay more attention to the national political stage believing it is more important.  We are in fact giving away our power and ability to be represented and live under the laws we choose.

We must work with our local politicians to keep power divided and enforce proper checks and balances.  Our lack of attention to this concept is putting our liberty in the hands of the highest bidder in Washington D.C.  Do not give the power to control your life away to the outer circles in which you have limited or no influence. 

The most important elections are your city and county elections.  Work with those officials on state elections, etc…  Do not get burnt out or frustrated trying to influence the outer circles.  Stay close to home!  Think global, ACT LOCAL.

Vote with your feet and your wallet
Never forget! it is easier to move to another city, county or state than find another great country like ours.  Your greatest power is the ability to vote with your feet, politicians need votes and constituents, they need you.  Mobility threatens power.

Be a wise consumer, vote with your wallet and loyalty, behavior can trump law.  An ignorant consumer asking for restrictions, licensing and laws for protection is giving up power and putting in the hands of others.

Taxes/Spending
Taxes should be consistent with a user fee.  Collected for services benefiting the community as a whole.  You know best how to spend money and measure the outcomes in your community.  Have you attended city or county budget meetings?  Have you seen the waste within your community?  They know you are not watching and Washington D.C. knows it cannot be watched or effectively held accountable.  Keep the budget/money close to home!

Elections
People constantly talk about the character of candidates.  Let’s be honest, at the federal level it is all conjecture, a trust in the media.  It is almost impossible to know the character and beliefs of federal candidates and yet we follow those elections closely.  Reality, our local politicians will help us get term limits, people out of office, hold state and federal politicians accountable and must be our watch dogs expanding our circle of influence.

Divisive issues of the day
Look at the divisive issues pushed relentlessly by the media and politicians.  You have your beliefs and opinions, you know what you want, good!, but we should not have one size fits all decisions.  People believe differently.  Politicians use our differences to divide, conquer and grow their power.  Always, always ask yourself;  “Should that circle even be making a decision, have jurisdiction, control that aspect of my life?”

It is hard in this country, with great liberty, to allow people to do things of which you do not approve.   Take care of yourself, family, neighbors, closest circle of influence.  Create the kind of city, county and then state in which you want to live.  Do not take freedom from others different from you.  You protect your freedom most by letting others have theirs.

Conclusion
Your greatest circle of influence is the government closest to home.  Do not ignore these institutions.  Do not give up your power.  Do not let them give up their power.  When issues move from inner circles to outer circles, recognize someone is trying to grow power inconsistent with the spirit of our Republic.  Understand these circles and the importance of divided and localized power.

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