As we celebrate this Fourth of July and the brash announcement to the world of a Declaration of Independence by a ragtag colony in a frontier continent, how can an American today separate this singularly unique occasion of history and heritage from the obligation as a citizen to select the representatives of the people who are sworn to carry out their will?
Here by comparison, in our small county, the electoral process begins. And so it has been said, this year will mark a turning point in the direction that our country takes. The power of government emanates from the people, the expression of their choice of candidates, their beliefs and their position on issues.
This being said, the elections closest to the people are the local, county and state elections. We cannot influence and exercise control of the government on a Federal level without those same choices, beliefs and principles put in practice by our local, county and state governments.
This is a presidential election year that painfully reminds us of the critical choice before us. Surely we cannot embrace the principles and beliefs protected in the Constitution at the Whitehouse if we do not demand their practice in our local governments and maintain a watchful oversight of their enforcement.
To this end, we are blessed with many talented and dedicated candidates for office in our community to choose from.
Making a selection on where to spend that precious vote must be based on a clear understanding of the facts, a knowledge of the candidates position on issues and a validation of the candidate's plan for the future.
How does he propose to solve problems? Does he have a proactive plan to move our community forward and out of the problems we now struggle with? Negative comments, criticisms and enumerating past failures are not acceptable and must not be supported.
Start your focus at the county level and examine the proposed candidates. The field is rich with competent candidates.
Let's continue what our founding fathers started.
Two hundred thirty-six years ago this Fourth of July, 57 men signed the document that created the American republic. They represented a people of about 3 million grouped in a series of 13 colonies along the eastern seaboard of the United States.
They were all wanted men, sought by the commander of the British forces in North America for sedition and treason. He had behind him the resources of the greatest military power on earth. They had behind them the bare beginnings of a government, hardly anything of an army, but something mighty in the way of an idea.
This Fourth of July, we might well remind ourselves of the beauty, the greatness and the long serviceability of our constitutional institutions and of the principles from which they flow.
This Fourth of July is a great time to recall these things, because the Declaration gives the Constitution its cause and also its basic form and function. We Americans may choose to discard this legacy and give up our birthright. Let us at least know what we are doing.
And so it begins.
William Perugino is active in local and regional politics and can be reached at email@example.com.