Reporting on our event from last Thursday evening, and here it is Saturday night already. First, I want to say some things about our Tea Party board here in Gaston County. The lady who is the chair of the board is someone whose father was on the City Council here some years ago when she was growing up. The taste of local politics seeped into her young psyche, never dreaming, though, that she would be chairing a Tea Party group. In fact, the Tea Party was not part of the vernacular all those yrs. ago. She is still raising her children, two biological children and two younger adoptees from Russia. She has been home-schooling and taking care of her husband and family, until the political scene became too unbearable. (A revelation we each in this group have had.) Then there are the other board members, a business owner of a pesticide company, a medical supplies salesman, a middle class engineer, a paralegal, an adorable young couple from a few miles away who are also home-schoolers, and then there is me...the fine artist who stepped away from the easel a couple of years ago to take on this disastrous government. So that is the motley crew, we who have taken time out of our lives to try to inform our local voters and get things on a better track.
The forum went better than the one on Tues. with the Republican Women's group. I say that because we had more people than candidates at our forum. We worked hard to ask some pointed questions of current and serious interest; public policies, bills, federal, state, and county issues. The candidates were again all Republicans except for one Democrat. (We invited more, but eleven came.) Two of the candidates are running for judgeships..and actually they had no political affiliation. The other nine are running for state and county positions, plus one for the House of Representatives in DC.
As I looked around the room, our audience was engaged and listening intently. There were some candidates who were just blowing smoke and issuing platitudes. But there were others who sincerely answered questions with thoughtfulness. Two of the guys running for county seats are green as green can be, never being involved in politics before. Their candor was refreshing. And their seemingly naive responses were completely pointed at getting rid of unnecessary government. You could not help but like them. Another running for a state seat was also new at this game and was terse and to the point in his answers. The incumbents were much more flowery in their answers and tried to take every second of their allowed time to show off. I wondered, is that what politics does to people? Make them want to toot their own horns and blow more smoke at people?
Early voting has started here. Our primary is May 8th. We are now putting together voter guides and have been publishing candidates' questionnaires on our website. It's all we can do short of grabbing people out of their homes and forcing them to the voting booth, which of course the Democrats do and we would not think of doing.
All in all, it went well. People express to us that they are sick of what our government is doing, especially at the federal level. We explain that our local government is just as out of control and must be reined in, but recognizing that a lot of what local government is doing is mandated, illegally, by the federal government. One of our County Commissioners explains that of all of their budget, only 20% of it is in their control. The rest is mandated from the feds or the state. Imagine that. How appalling is that? How can a local government operate with that going on? Or better stated, how much control do our voters have locally with that going on? And you wonder why voters are feeling disenfranchised?? Wonder no more.
So that is my quick report from Thursday's forum. The push in on...all the way to November.