To The Daily Sun,
I am sitting in the living room of my house enjoying the sunshine while reading the thoughts of Asimov, Plato, Lincoln and Thatcher, reflecting upon losing an election for the local school board, attending the Tilton Town Meeting as a member of the community and Budget Committee, attending the Tilton-Northfield Fire District meeting as a member of the community and Budget Committee, and attending the SAU 59 School District meeting as a member of the community. I would like to share some of these thoughts on what I see as the state of democracy and civic duty in our small communities of Tilton, Northfield, and Sanbornton.
I watched and participated in an election for a school board member. I was met with resistance by a select group of individuals who created a closed caste system of electable individuals. This was completed initially by determining who best fit their needs at the detriment of the needs of the community they are supposed to be serving, then they created this closed caste system by choosing a candidate who would be submissive to their control of the school district and manipulated the amount of votes being cast.
I subsequently learned, at a town/fire district/school district meeting process, that it was being controlled by this same small group of angry, egocentric individuals who were intentionally feeding their own self-worth by creating situations that would create a situation of anger and fear. It was interesting to watch these individuals cluster at meetings to contemplate, map their strategies and tactics, to spew forth their anger and self-serving agendas in an attempt to bully and corrupt the democratic process.
What was interesting was to hear them proffer their righteous duty to protect their constituents utilizing their own filters of a need of ego supplement, a need to be wanted by someone, and a need to be considered important by others while delivering ideas that were crippling to the needs of their constituents. Their presentations were truly heartfelt on their part, that they were aiding in meeting the needs of the constituents of their towns separately and collectively. This small group has utilized its limited knowledge of the political workings of the communities involved to reward their friends and punish those who have ideas contrary to their close-minded and self-aggrandizing behavior by fixing elections through the use of favors. This reminds me of following quotes:
— "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" ― Isaac Asimov
— "Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters." ― Abraham Lincoln
— "Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: 'I stand for consensus?" ― Margaret Thatcher
— "In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one." ― Plato
— "Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses." ― Plato
We, the electorate, need to regain control of our democracy before groups, such as the above, remove the democratic process totally from our communities and destroy the strong positive progress that our school system is making. It is our civic duty as representatives of the community to serve the interests of the community not our individual needs to be wanted and important. We need to take the election process seriously and elect representatives that will serve the needs of the community and not their own needs whether they are to belong or feel superior or other needs fulfill their human existence.
I call for the voters of the towns involved to call for an independent review of the process, an accountability for these actions, and a process that will protect our democracy from actions such as these.
I will end with the following:
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." ― Plato
- Category: Letters
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