Thursday, February 01, 2007


Someone once told me that if all we're doing is sitting at our computers typing fiery prose then we're not much better than people who do nothing at all. I may not have that exactly right - in fact I'm absolutely sure it was more eloquent than that - but the sentiment is dead-on, at any rate. My friend was right: that's the same thing as lighting a candle and then covering it with a bushel basket. Put that light on a lamp-stand, Brother!

So, here's what I've been up to, without giving away too much. I've gotten more involved at the Township level in the only party I'd even consider a remote association with. This is good for me; it's easy to complain about how things are run at the national and State levels. It's another thing altogether to accept responsibility for fixing what we might perceive to be problems. There's no victims here, right? Nobody calling out in the darkness "where have our leaders gone." Right? Plus, candidly, there's a little on-the-job training I'm getting for next to nothing.

I'm also helping out a great guy in a mayoral election however I can, and I'm considering creating an advocacy organization in town for the homeowner's associations in our area. It's with great pride that I'm staking out ground in support of residents (aka the little guy) that seems like the worst possible position when considering my profession (commercial lending and finance). Yep, I'm principled, and I'll prove it to you by forsaking a successful career, just you watch me.

"Where the h*ll has that Monarchist been?" you may have thought in passing lately. I'm still as passionate as ever, but if I have periods of quiet, it's because I'm taking that friend's advice I mentioned before, and - Lord, there it is again! - seeking balance in my efforts.

There's a risk here: people start to listen and I need to drop the anonymity and get real about how this fits with what I'm supposed to do with my life and what my ambitions are. I might have to take that most terrifying of all things - a chance. By no means are we there yet, but I'll hope that should that one day arrive, you'll remember Dear Reader, that we started this together, and by God, we'll finish it if given the chance.

Hopefully this month will give us more chances to talk. After all, you're such a great listener!


michael hargis said...

Your friend sounds wise and just. Probably a handsome devil, too.

Do like the Monarchist tells you, folks. Attend city council meetings, school board meetings, planning and zoning meetings, whatever kind of meetings, and get involved. You'll find that the people who run your town aren't as bright as they think they are, and 9 times out of 10 stupid laws get passed simply because there was no opposition present.

Be careful, Monarchist. Few leave public service with their principles intact.

Call Me Mom said...

I've always told my son, "If you take care of the little things, the big things have a way of taking care of themselves.
Good Luck and watch your principles. I'll keep you in my prayers.

The Monarchist said...

Lady and Gent,

Thanks for the kind words. I'd add that fewer enter public service with principles of any kind, in my experience. They just *appear* to be principled.

If it's true that you know someone by the company they keep, y'all have nothing to worry about. ;)


P.S. I can't say for sure about the handsome part, although he's a bit of a ladies man, by all accounts.

JWales said...

Principles and Limited Government, hmmmm? That sounds familiar,LOL.

Go for it A.H.!


Daniel Webster said...

Way back when I attended scores of city council meetings- well, "scores" may be exaggerating it a little, but not much- which had to do with a certain group of people seeking special priveleges. All of these meetings were attended by hundreds of people (and that ain't no exaggeration- I was there right along with the rest of 'em enduring sub-zero temperatures and a lot of in-your-face shenanigans, and other unmentionables.) representing both sides of the issue in question, all, or virtually all waiting for their chance to have their say before said council. I would say, roughly, that the ratio of attendees was something like three to one on the side of no special priveleges for anyone. But of course the council, in a feigned attempt to be "fair," made allowances for the respective sides to speak as per 1-1.

In an act of defiance against the will of the majority (and this weren't no simple majority!), the council voted something like 5-2 in favor of granting special priveleges to the minority. By the same ratio, in the next election cycle, all five of those council members lost their seats to folks more in tune with the will of the people. The few laws formerly passed were promptly overturned by the new council, and that was that.

The point is that sometimes stupid laws get passed in the face of strong or overwhelming opposition, but that sure don't mean it's the end of it by any stretch.

JWales said...

I get your drift D. Good point.

On the national level it sure looks grim, I hope your right.


michael hargis said...

Granting special privileges is what politics is all about, Webster. Not theoretically, perhaps, but in practice. Of course there are always individuals who refuse to participate in that system, but they are too few in number to matter much.

As I've said before, no matter what your vocation or avocation, or your race, or religion, there is someone in Washington trying to bribe a congressman on your behalf. Granting a privilege to one group always leaves another group unhappy, so to make up for it they lobby to get privileges granted to themselves. And on and on...

In such a system principles probably get in the way more than they help. The initial impulse to do good for one's fellow man through public service eventually comes face to face with the reality that one can only accomplish that good if one gets re-elected, or at least maintains a position of influence strong enough to affect political outcomes and policies. Even the most powerful politician in the world has to compromise: "I'll help you get part of what you want if you'll help me get part of what I want." Or: "I'll help you get part of what you want if you'll forget about the other part."

Some people go into business hoping to make a quick killing and retire to some tropical island. No doubt some go into politics for the same reason, but for most businessmen and politicians success equals longevity. If there's any difference it's that few go into business hoping to change the world; they just want to make money. Now that I see that last sentence in print, maybe there isn't any difference after all. ;)

I seem to be getting a little windy, so I'll cut it off here.

Monarchist: A certain highly influential female has brought it to my attention that the aforementioned ladies' man reputation is highly overblown. Or had better be, at any rate.