At our first formal meeting on Saturday, November 5th, before the 2016 general election, 4 of us, who had connected via our Facebook group, met together at Rockin’ Joe in Caldwell. Even though we came from different backgrounds, political leanings, creeds, and ethnicities, we thought that meeting like-minded neighbors, especially after such a bitter and unpleasant campaign season, would just be a good thing to do.
In an era of sound byte politics and of hyper-partisan expectations, we committed a counter-cultural act of resistance: we read the United States Constitution, together, as neighbors and citizens.
Afterwards, we felt cleansed, enlightened, and inspired to get more involved in the political process here in Caldwell. But we are under no illusions about the practical realities that are involved in local politics. It is often dirty, full of grudges, ulterior motives, and ego. But we will seek to pursue the higher ideals we read enshrined in our Constitution. We will not always succeed (as is the nature of all human endeavors), but we will never stop striving towards the goal of a more perfect Union beginning at the local level.
As President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat and native of Caldwell, said:
Every citizen should be politician enough to bring himself within the true meaning of the term, as one who concerns himself with ‘the regulation or government of a nation or State for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity.’ This is politics in its best sense, and this is good citizenship.
In light of the foreign-influenced election of Donald Trump, our first act as a group was an example of the meaning of America and a warning against any form of politics that would subvert its foundational ideals.
E Pluribus Unum.