You Can’t Save America Simply by Voting for Donald Trump

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Once again, we find ourselves in the throes of a hotly contested presidential election. Voters are being subjected to hours and days of constant coverage of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden saying or doing things that outrage one side and please the other. More importantly, however, more voters are losing sight of the real bigger picture, when it comes to saving this beautiful republic. 

Conservatives and Republicans alike are being told the reasons as to why Trump and his agenda will save America and how important it is that they vote. They are right about voting, but they are not completely right about Trump. We are forgetting what got us here in the first place, and it wasn’t what happened three or four years ago, rather it was what happened over the course of several decades.

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Long before I was born, and during the subsequent 10 to 20 years after, conservatives lost control and sight of what I can only suspect as something they viewed as either unimportant or not as critical at that time. We got distracted by national politics and stopped paying as much attention to the local and state political machines. The state assemblies, city councils, school boards, water boards, etc.

But more importantly, we lost control of the education system when they were unable to stop former President Carter from formally upgrading the Department of Education (DOE) to a cabinet-level post in 1979. Republicans tried to end the DOE under President Ronald Regan, but Democrats in Congress refused, and Republicans decided to give up on eliminating the DOE, instead expanding the department’s power and increasing the department’s budget continuously over the next 10-20 years.

To save this republic, voters need to prioritize the education system and local governing bodies first. Water and school boards, county boards of trustees, and city councils are all the bedrock that establishes the foundation of their country, yet more and more conservatives largely have relegated these bodies as “lost” and pointed their attention elsewhere. Now, in the trailing years after the COVID disaster that exposed the crucial impact that these local governing bodies, we are seeing plainly how important these are. Or are we?

What we see in county and city politics is an unending supply of Republican-identifying candidates for state and federal offices, but never enough people to run for these local boards. These local boards, whether it is water or school boards, set major policies that affect everyone’s daily lives, more so than members of Congress passing the day-to-day legislation that hogs the spotlight. In California for example, the Democrats knew how COVID exposed the corruption and major impact that these boards had on their communities and have made huge strides to protect them by removing some of their power. All the while conservatives stood back and could only watch.

Republicans and conservatives alike need to take note. We cannot take back America without first taking back our state and local governing bodies. Another Trump presidency, while it might bode well for foreign and domestic policies of the nation, will not trickle down to the states as quickly as we would want, and it sure as hell will not trickle down to the local communities anytime soon after that.

We cannot put our trust and faith in one man or woman in the White House, Senate, or Congress. Republicans and conservative independents need to get off our collective rear ends fight for our communities and vote. We can put our faith in one or two, or three men or women to sit on the water board and make good policy decisions on water storage and usage, not environmental impact studies on a fish that has never seen the light of day in half a century. We need a few men or women to serve on the school board and make sound policy decisions that protect our children and the rights of the parents to be informed about their kids. The saying that a chain is only as good, or strong as its weakest link is a perfect example of this.

A strong house is built on a stronger foundation, so the same logic must be applied to politics. Fighting to take back the education system and the school boards in this country will ensure that we cultivate a new generation of young leaders who will grow up and pass that down to their generation of children. Leaders aren’t born, they are made, and our current system is designed to grow followers or sheep, instead of leaders or sheepdogs. If the recent example of the National Educational Association President’s comments at their national meeting is an indicator of what our education system looks like, it should not concern you, it should outrage you into action.

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So, a simple vote for Donald Trump is not good enough to save this republic. It is so much more, and it takes courage and strength to make that happen.

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