By Darcy Kahrloff, Special for US Daily Review.
Most people have a fleeting interest in politics – normally every four years during theUSPresidential race. Two political celebrities from opposing parties are paraded around the country, promising to do this or that, and kiss babies and little old ladies for the cameras. Our national politicians have become glamorous figures, and seem untouchable and unreachable to most of us. Washingtonpoliticians have become an elite, almost royal, part of American society. However, that was not always the case.
Involvement in politics at every level was seen as a sacrifice one took for the good of society when this country began. Although ourSchool District, City, County, State, and Federal government officials have seemingly forgotten the importance of governing, many of our most basic levels of government officials are still sacrificing for the good of their communities. Many of our Municipal Utility District (MUD) and Home Owners’ Association (HOA) board members serve without any recognition and with the best interest of their local community in mind.
What is the difference between MUD and HOA boards and all other elected officials? Obviously, they govern much smaller areas. They also have much smaller budgets than their larger counterparts. However, I would contend that the reason the smaller MUD and HOA board members don’t become “out of touch” with their constituents is that they are not lobbied by businesses and lawyers to the same extent as other elected officials.
I worked hard a year ago to help two of my Tea Party friends are elected to our local school board. Within two days of winning their races, the two major law firms that deal with school districts, as well as many of the vendor representatives for the district contacted both. They were instantly accepted by the political and societal elite in our area, and were invited to every social event in our area. Although one of my friends remains unimpressed by all of the perks, the other friend seems to embrace the lifestyle. It was painfully obvious shortly after he was elected, when he responded to a concern that community members had on a particular vote, “They don’t have the knowledge and information I have on that subject”. The arrogance! How frustrating to hear that coming from someone who was “one of the people” a few months before.
That perfectly illustrates the disconnect that occurs between our elected elite and the regular masses. Our elected officials are playing the game of politics; patting each other’s backs about how privileged, they are to be included in that special club. They have lunch paid for by lobbyists from special interest groups, and have dinners on the taxpayer dime, supporting one cause or another. Politicians are constantly concerned about their public image, making sure to say and do the right things. They look at polling data to see what the public wants, but can overlook that data if the special interest group has the right amount of influence or money. The political elite will not make an unpopular or controversial decision to close to their reelection, so they won’t be held accountable by the few voters that pay attention. With a compliant media and a lackadaisical public, politicians ensure that the vicious elitist cycle continues.
Meanwhile, somebody on their paid staff is doing the work of governing, making the daily decisions that keep our country, state, county, school district, and city running. Someone takes care of the budget, security, maintenance, and all other areas that are vital. That is what the elected members on HOA and MUD boards are doing every day in communities across this nation for free. They sacrifice their time and money to make sure their community is the best it can be. While corruption and lobbying still occurs at these levels, it is not normally due only to special interest groups. Mostly it occurs because members of the community are uninvolved and not paying attention, allowing those few who are involved to do as they please. How do you get the community members interested in their local elections? That is a question for another day.
Darcy Kahrloff is a Tea Party leader. She has been intensely involved with the Tea Party movement and local area politics since 2009. She is focused at taking back our country one small victory at a time. She is involved because she cares about her three children, and their future. Kahrloff is involved because she is worried and scared that our country is going in the wrong direction. She is involved because she could no longer sit still, yelling at the politicians on television making all the wrong decisions.