1. Introduction — A Call To Arms
No, we are not trying to start a revolution. The only revolution that has to occur is against apathy and lack of involvement. Such a revolution occurs in our hearts and minds, when we come to the realization that things are not going well and that somebody should do something about it.
Guess what? YOU are that someone.
And it’s very simple; just GET INVOLVED, to the extent that you have the time and interest to do so. To illustrate how simple it is to get involved, in a series of articles I will tell the tale of my own path tiptoeing through the tulips of the political scene.
2. A snippet from my bio
My particular story begins in Budapest, Hungary, at the time of its transformation from a slave state of the nazis, through a brief rebirth in freedom immediately after the war, to a slave state of the Soviet Russians as the Iron Curtain was dividing Europe in two. It continues through junior high school in Paris, in the France that was the showcase for euro-socialism. I got off the boat in New York in the middle of the Nixon-Kennedy campaign, and spent my senior high school years in New Jersey, during the “Camelot” that was the Democrats’ idea of how a system of supposedly free enterprise works. I was in college during the Vietnam war, when Lyndon Johnson’s “great society” and “guns-and-butter” fiscal policies laid the foundation for the disastrous stagflation and malaise of the Carter years. But I also had the good fortune of spending my career in Silicon Valley when it was the last bastion of free enterprise in America, during the Reagan and Bush years.
Work and family, plus the infernal commute, left no time to pay much attention to politics when California was irresistibly sinking into the quagmire of its insane, “progressive” welfare, tax and regulatory policies. When I retired in Carson City, I was deliriously happy to have political representation for the first time in decades. I began commenting on the news via letters and e-mails to our local state and federal representatives, and to family and friends who would not trash my unsolicited comments.
3. How I got involved
In the 2012 caucus, I decided to do more than just cast a ballot; I went to the precinct meeting. When the call went out for volunteers, I raised my hand. I went to the meetings of the Carson City Republican Central Committee. I went to the County Convention. When the call came for delegates to the State Convention, I lined up for Gingrich. It so happened that based on the popular vote, the number of delegates allocated to Gingrich was the same as the number of people volunteering to be delegates for Gingrich. We all made it. Added bonus was automatic membership in the county Central Committee.
However, all YOU have to do is show up at a monthly meeting of the county Central Committee three times in a row, and you too can be a member. Somebody makes a motion, we all say Aye, and you are in. Nothing could be simpler.
4. Life in the Legislature
In the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature, I was an unpaid lobbyist, this time commenting on the bills being proposed. Note that any citizen can attend the committee meetings and visit with the legislators from their own districts, but a lobbyist can contact any legislator on any bill; send them letters, e-mails, visit them in their offices or stop them to chat in the hallways and uh… lobbies.
Being retired, I had time to read most bills being proposed. I went to several committee meetings in person and watched many more on-line. I joined in valiant fights for lost causes, made new friends among the legislators, and sat on the Floor with my assemblyman.
But the highlight of the session was the Third House, which is worth re-watching on YouTube, especially if you know the legislators being parodied.
5. Looking ahead
In future postings I will go into more detail about my experiences, and how they shaped my views and my participation in civic affairs. I will do a recap of the 77th session of the legislature — good bills passed, good bills defeated, bad bills passed, really bad bills passed, bad bills defeated, and the voting records of the incumbent legislators. I will outline how a bill becomes law, how a candidate becomes an elected official, what the party does to help a candidate get elected, how the party vets a potential candidate, and most importantly, what a citizen must do to participate – register to vote, educate yourself on the issues and candidates, and volunteer; do as little or as much as you can, but do SOMETHING.
As a goofy old saying goes, Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There…
OK, now it’s 2016 and I still have not done any of these things. The other postings explain how I was sidetracked.