In response to my 1 November “political post,” Dave Wheeler wrote, among other things: “This election cycle is soon to end. I for one will make it a point to go out and become active in my community again. It’s time to put the ‘citizen’ back in citizen government …”
Let’s heed his words—and turn them into deeds!
When folks bitch about government in a seminar, my automatic response is, “So why don’t you run for the school board?” (Or whatever.) This particular path is, of course, harder in Milwaukee than in Tinmouth VT. But there are always numerous things, many quite small and achievable, of abiding local significance to get involved in. The world is, in fact, not all that flat—and Local Engagement is, was, and will be forevermore the Centerpiece of democratic government.
For those who made new friends while doing campaign work, in particular—take advantage of these new civic-minded colleagues more or less immediately. How, now, immediately, can we begin to harness this outpouring of civic virtue into the service of pressing local, typically non-partisan needs? For those who were engaged in Internet politics during the campaign, how might we convert these amazing, mostly new in many cases, networks into vehicles to promote the common good in a way that bears little or no relationship to national party concerns?
Almost 50% of us will be licking our wounds tomorrow morning. Fair enough. But how about, on Thursday, or at the weekend, beginning—no kidding, tiny steps—to harness our newfound activism for the local public good?