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Government Corruption? Look Closer to Home, It's in Your Backyard
Hyperfocusing on national poltiics empowers corrupt officials in your local government.
Recent headlines have captivated national attention, focusing on big-ticket political controversies in Washington, D.C., and global crises that seem miles away. The latest indictment against former President Donald Trump, the Republican primaries, and the latest Biden blunder have all been dominating the headlines.
As riveting as these grand narratives may be, they often overshadow the less glamorous but equally important issue of local politics. The truth is, government corruption and abuses of power are not limited to the marble halls of Congress; they are lurking right in your backyard, often escaping the scrutiny they deserve.
Take the case of Andru Kulas in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He's suing the local police for an egregious abuse of power that resulted in physical assault and vision problems. This wasn't just a bad cop on a power trip; this was an entire system, right down to the Citizens Review Board, that exonerated the officers involved, despite clear evidence of misconduct. The situation escalated unnecessarily, with Kulas being pepper-sprayed and detained, all because he refused to accept a ticket.
Or consider the overreach in Louisiana, where Waylon Bailey was arrested for a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post about COVID-19. Not only was his home raided and he arrested, but he was initially denied justice when a lower court judge ruled in favor of the police. Thanks to a higher court's intervention, Bailey will at least have a chance to hold those responsible for this assault on his First Amendment rights accountable.
And let's not forget the chilling case in Kansas, where the home of 98-year-old Joan Meyer, co-owner of a local newspaper, was raided by local law enforcement. They seized computers and materials from Meyer and her son, purportedly for an "identity theft" investigation tied to a news story. The stress from this ordeal led to Meyer's death the next day, a grave infringement not only on the Fourth Amendment but also on the freedom of the press.
These are only a few examples of local governments infringing on the rights of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.
In each of these cases, it wasn't the FBI or the DEA knocking on the doors of citizens; it was local law enforcement, emboldened perhaps by a lack of scrutiny and accountability. More often than not, these cases aren't just anomalies; they're indicative of systemic issues that can only be addressed at the local level. And yet, the overwhelming focus tends to be on the federal government, fueled by incessant coverage by elite media and social media influencers.
This is precisely why local politics deserve your attention and why I am devoting so much of my platform to covering these stories. Your city councilors, sheriffs, and judges may not have blue checkmarks on Twitter, or X, but their decisions have immediate and tangible impacts on your life. These are the people who decide on your property taxes, school curricula, and yes, the conduct of your local police force.
Moreover, when federal politics are bitterly divided, and legislative progress is often stalled, local governments remain a place where individuals can effect real change. It's also easier to hold local officials accountable; they're your neighbors, appearing at the same grocery stores, attending the same local events. There's a direct line of access—and accountability—that is harder to ignore.
So, before getting lost in the next federal scandal or global crisis, take a moment to consider what's happening closer to home. It might not be as glamorous, but it's equally, if not more, crucial. After all, when it comes to government overreach, the tyranny you ignore in your backyard today could be the national headline of tomorrow.
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