The 2020 election is quickly approaching and voting for president matters, but how you vote locally matters much more.
The election seems to have taken on a personality of its own. Democrats fear the end of the world should Trump win, and Republicans fear the end of the world should Biden win.
The news is filled with fluff about the latest polls, campaign moves, and short snippets of speeches given by the candidates — usually out-of-context. Nothing of substance. No journalistic effort to provide the American people with information that actually matters.
And the people eat it all up. It’s as if voting for president alone will change everything. The sad reality is that in some ways it does, but it shouldn’t because we’re not talking about a King or an autocratic tyrant.
The president is given the relatively limited duty of enforcing the laws that Congress writes, and the laws that Congress writes are limited by the very few enumerated powers listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
So, why would such a small role matter so much?
Unfortunately, Americans began expecting more of the president back in the 1930s, and the power and reach of the office has grown from there. The more powerful we treat the office, the more powerful the president becomes. We the people no longer realize the weight of our own responsibility in the matter.
Over time, the other branches of government began to treat the president the same way we do. But even today, the reality is that the president’s power is still severely limited. And it’s about time we get hold of this truth and turn our attention away from voting for president alone and to the parts of the 2020 election that really matter.
There are many battles to be fought in November, but I have identified what I believe to be the four most important. Starting with the least important and moving to the most important, they are:
THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE
When it comes to federal law policy, no one is more important than your Congressman and Senator, not the president. The president doesn’t make law, but your Congressman and Senator make the federal laws you’ll be subject to in the future. Few of us pay attention to or understand this reality, so we neglect doing research about our members of Congress.
This why they are reelected at astounding rates. This is what prompts all the complaints and calls for term limits. But if we did our job, our votes would provide the term limits we seek. We need to stop focusing on the president (the individual who has no way to make law) and instead, focus our time on making sure Congress comes out right.
One more point before we move on: The Senate gives consent for court nominations, ambassadors, and the like — things that directly affect us.
STATE LEGISLATURE AND STATE EXECUTIVE
Of all political races in the 2020 elections, few are more important than those for state legislature and state executive. Much of the campaign spending supports this belief. Democrats and Republicans have spent boat loads of money targeting state legislative seats. Unlike the citizenry, those in power know just how critical these races are.
Party leaders know the federal government’s power is limited. They know they rely heavily on state governments to fund and enforce federal policies. That means Democrats want a Democrat-controlled state legislature and state executive. This enables the party to carry out the policies they want should they take control of the federal government. The same goes for the Republican Party.
The greatest enemy and stumbling block to national power is state government leaders whose politics don’t align with the party.
America was built on a belief in local government and individual self-governance. Unfortunately, today’s American voter tends to focus solely on the presidential election while ignoring state elections.
Lovers of liberty must realize that we can’t afford to lose the states. Most of the laws, rules, and regulations we live under on a daily basis come from our local governments, not from the federal. Basic logic should motivate us to vote locally.
Do your research. Who is your local representative? Do they uphold your state Constitution? Do they respect the federal Constitution? What is their agenda for being in government? This is where we must take the fight.
Sadly, the state courts have become increasingly critical to local governance. Republican legislatures pass legislation only to have it immediately struck down by liberal courts, and vice versa. Courts should never be this powerful. Never.
As we work to re-educate Americans on this important reality, we need be sure to vote locally for candidates who are solidly focused on upholding the state Constitution and applying — not re-interpreting and writing — the law.
These races will be incredibly critical should the federal government ever fully embrace their power and reject the Constitution. Should this happen, and state legislatures fight the unconstitutional behavior of the federal government, the courts stand to make or break such state legislative action.
MAYORS AND SCHOOL BOARDS
Liberty really does lay squarely on the shoulders of local mayors and local city government. If all else is lost, mayors will ultimately decide if their cities and towns will be ruled by arbitrary power or by the Constitution. We are regularly affectedly by the decisions made by our mayors — for good or for bad. For example, consider how the different cities and towns are handling COVID, protests, and riots.
And don’t forget to vote locally for our school boards. With the increase in every kind of indoctrination, the role of the school boards has never been more critical. They truly are determining the future of our nation by deciding the education of our children.
On a practical level, they are much more important than voting for president.
I hope I’ve helped expand your political focus during this 2020 election. Yes, voting for president is important, very important, but how you vote locally is more important.
But, frankly, we could elect a Marxist to the office of the president and see our daily personal lives stay the same if everyone in Congress, state, local and city government were all Constitutionalists. On the other hand, we could elect a great Constitutionalist to the presidency and still be doomed to Marxism (or worse) if Congress, state, and local governments are Marxists.
I urge you to fight to elect the most Constitutional and upright representatives to your local legislatures, city governments. and courts. If you haven’t paid attention to those races yet, start paying attention now. Every election matters, but your local elections matter the most.
This article is used by permission and has been edited for publication on this site.
Christin McMasters is a South Carolinian now residing in North Carolina and has a Ph.D. in political science. She is a budding blogger and political science instructor, and her passion is politics.
Using her keyboard as her weapon of choice, Christin imparts some of her excitement, passion and knowledge about American government on her website, TheLibertyBelleNC.com.