Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
Why should citizens never trust or have faith in elected servants?
There are two reasons.
Reason Number One: It is the job of citizens to manage and run the government. The failures we’ve had as a nation, state, and county have occurred precisely because citizens have stopped their participation largely at the time their candidates are elected. That is not, however, the American system of government, which is very much a participatory Republic. Citizen participation must continue after the elected servants take the oath of office.
Citizens are at the top of the organizational chart of government. That concept emanates from the Declaration of Independence, throughout the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers, and in the speeches of the second round of Founding Fathers (men such as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln). It’s what Americans are.
It is our job to remain vigilant and then organize when our elected servants get off of the course we set for them. Please see “’The Employer And The Maid’ (If You’re An ‘Elected Servant’ You Should NOT Read This Article; If You’re A Citizen Who Wants To Have A Role In Government, Please Read),” The Golden Hammer, January 12, 2019.
Reason Number Two: Citizens are rapidly becoming more vigilant, because elected servants have burned them so much. The members of the democrat party failed us for 50 years after the end of World War II. Their critical supporters gave them too long to make amends.
Our disposable income no longer supports the lifestyles that our parents and grandparents worked to enjoy, because such a large portion of our money goes to pay taxes at all levels of government in almost every single transaction in which we engage. If we buy a roll of Dutch salty licorice at Old Town Spring, we pay sales tax, an excise tax, and an import fee. If we buy gas at the pump, we’re paying more than half of the price in gas taxes and hidden taxes contained within the real price of the gas.
The impact of those taxes is that parents both must work outside of the home. They can’t engage with their children to provide them the 90% of education which occurs during the first five years of a human’s life. Children then arrive at public schools without basic tools that we enjoyed, because our parents gave us the attention they could afford. Then we must pay those public schools to try to overcome our learning disadvantages, but the public schools are far greater limitations than our parents would.
We have ended up with education that emphasizes collectivism and fails to provide the basics (reading, riting, rithmetic.) It’s an endless downward spiral which we, as cognizant adults, must bring to an end. The only possible end is to fight mighty hard to make government spend a lot less, bring a fair and just end to public administration of education, and reduce the tax burden enormously.
What has happened, however, in the past 25 years is that conservatives have correctly lost all trust of people who run as “conservatives” or “Republicans” for government positions. Why? On January 1, 1995, after spending more than a decade as backbenchers in Congress complaining about appropriations bills and overspending, the Republicans gained control of Congress and immediately proceeded to become the sponsors of those same appropriations bills. They showed us that they lied to us. They continued to lie to us that they are “conservatives” when, in fact, they’re Giant Government liberals, the people we knew we could trust long, long ago.
Many of those people meant well. They were sincere when they won election. Power, which citizen oversight and participation does not fetter, is power which corrupts the best men and women.
Power, which citizen oversight and participation does not fetter, is power which corrupts the best men and women.
For more than a decade, Republicans have controlled the Texas Legislature. They’ve lied to us. Rather than reducing spending, enacting property tax reform, and fixing the school finance system, they’ve done essentially nothing except pass bigger and bigger spending budgets, and then, when the Legislature ends, come home to report that they’re “proud” of the biennial budget, because “it didn’t grow spending as fast as the democrats wanted.” Republicans have failed to show the self-discipline they’ve claimed to have. (Of course, the democrats don’t even claim to have any self-discipline.) They’ve squandered the opportunity to bring the reforms which Senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan had promised and sincerely sought.
For 25 years, Republicans have controlled the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. The rate of spending growth has been nothing short of breathtaking. It’s been the fastest growing government in spending in the entire United States. In 1998, I got into a scrape with Texas Monthly after the Republican Leadership Council complained that the Commissioners Court – composed of five Republicans – was “too liberal.” They gave me and the RLC a “Bum Steer Award.” In 2017, I gave Texas Monthly a “Bum Steer Award” back in The Golden Hammer. What Mike Levy and Paul Burka showed was their naivete. The Publisher and Editor of Texas Monthly didn’t understand that power corrupts.
Montgomery County enjoys exceptionalism in some important respects. We’re truly one of the most conservative communities in the United States. We have beautiful natural resources and a location that is almost second to none, because we live in the suburbs but can go into the big city for culture or entertainment when we want to enjoy its amenities. Montgomery County is the perfect place to prove to Texas and even to the Nation that conservatives are capable of taking care of their own business, that we can do exceptional things, and think outside of the box to solve problems which would otherwise just allow the ever more rapid creep of government growth and intrusion into the freedom of our lives.
Kelli Cook, Reagan Reed, Dale Inman, Jon Bouche, and the hundreds of volunteer activists who worked with them showed Texas how Montgomery County could be exceptional in the way we run a Republican Party, despite the so-called “dissension” within the local GOP.
Quite frankly, Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, under the leadership of elected servants Webb Melder and Harry Hardman, showed exceptionalism yesterday as well. I have never seen a local government entity in Texas decide not to hire a lobbyist due to spending concerns and ethical concerns of citizens who appeared before them. Their action two days ago was exceptional and admirable.
The truth? Kelli Cook, Reagan Reed, Dale Inman, Bob Bagley, John Wertz, Jon Bouche, Webb Melder, Harry Hardman, Steve Toth, and the thousands of their closest friends, who make Montgomery County the exceptional place it is, are just getting started. It’s the citizens and the natural beauty of Montgomery County which make it exceptional. Government merely detracts.