We should be more invested in local government

Matt Walsh set off a firestorm of outrage when he said “99.9999 percent of your daily life and existence will be completely unaffected by the results today” on Election Day. But here is a little spoiler: Walsh is right. (Of course, there is an important qualification.)

How often do you interact with the federal government in your day-to-day life? Unless you have a federal job, your interaction with them is extremely limited. Yes, there are exceptions, but can we please get out of the silly habit of determining a general truth by a few limited exceptions? To most people, what the federal government does has no impact on their lives.

People are not literally dying because of the results of an election. This is the kind of overemotional reaction that does nothing to advance civil discourse and kills any chance of a rational and logical analysis and discussion of public policy. Once you feel that your life is literally on the line (it is not) then any radical reaction is then justified – including verbally abusing Tucker Carlson’s teenage daughter and leading a mob to try to break into his home and do God knows what to his wife.

What is unfortunate is that people get so emotionally invested in what is going on at the national level and completely ignore what is happening at the local level. But it is local government that matters much more to your life. Every time you drive to work, you drive on roads that were paid for, built and maintained by local government. Trash collection, plowing snow, the water from your tap, fixing potholes, police and fire protection, marriage licenses, voter registration, and property records are all maintained by local government. Your local school district is controlled by a locally elected school board.

The interest in government needs to be flipped. We need to be much less invested in what happens in Washington, D.C. and much more invested in our own communities. Granted, some things that go on in local government are not as “sexy” as what happens in Washington, but no matter how boring a discussion of land use policy and zoning might be, it directly affects you much more than anything Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi is doing. As a bonus, your vote matters much more in local elections!

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