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Monday, July 21, 2008

Presidential Politics is Local Politics

My family and I spent a great weekend out with my sister and brother in law and their five kids out in New Salem. It’s a beautiful area out by the Quabin Reservoir and a majestic place to visit when you want to see life as it was restored in old time New England. The kids were supposed to tent it for the weekend but the weather screwed us over till the last night. Call me a jerk but I couldn't picture a memory for my girls without a scare from yours truly as a wild animal out in the woods of New Salem. I grunted like a wild pig and almost laughed out loud as my nephew ordered out to identify mylself. I scratched at the tent on the lower corners and started to growl and Reid came up to bat to confront the attacking animal. At the ripe old age of thirteen he was the man in charge defending his family. At which point I growled loud and grabbed at the screen as he tried to unzipp it. As the kids laughed I was in serious trouble as the Mom's came racing out. Long story...

My Sister in law Jean is a Godsend to the restoration of the community and has been one of many driving the restoration of the buildings in the town and for that matter bringing New Salem back together again. Her heart is in the right place and that is building a community and fostering a common goal that brings all of the people of New Salem together. Old Home Day in New Salem would not be what it is without all the hard work everyone in the community puts into it. Trust me, it was a great family event. We had a blast, got some home made honey from a real life bee keeper and some interesting residual products made from honey. The girls were able to ride in a fire truck in the parade, and we all enjoyed some great conversation with family and locals.

We didn’t talk politics but we did talk life. Life meaning how we are all handling the events of our lives given the economy. It’s happening everywhere in America and our discussions probably were not far from the conversations you had with your families over the past weekend. Gas prices are killing our food budgets, we are stretching funds to pay the utility bills, we don’t drive unless we have several errands at the same time, we just don’t spend frivolously anymore. One thing I came away from this past weekend was local commerce supporting local people. From now on, when I see a farm stand I intend to stop and buy from them for my vegetables and any other products they have that I would have bought at the huge grocery chain store. I don’t know where the vegetables came from at the super dooper grocery chain, but I do know that the local farm stand is selling their hard work. At least I hope they are.

Jean and David are the most Liberal people I know but they are also Conservative thinking people. I love them both. Here in New England that is almost a given. Yankee blood is driven into your soul over the long cold winters and saving a dollar, managing your dollars is just something you do. At least in western Mass anyway.

What stirred my thoughts to write this post was the local community and supporting that first ideology. I sat back at the dinner table when my wifes sister Jean went on about supporting local farmers meant supporting the local hardware store, the local store that bought the milk from the farm, the local farm that supplied the eggs to the store and the list went on and on. A loud sounding bell went off in my head and it was right there in front of me and I never saw it before.

What with WalMart importing everything from all over the world and selling it cheap, in the big city of Worcester, not such a big city but the example works, I’m screwing myself over and my neighbor that works at XYZ company that makes product here, buys raw materials here, pays to ship raw materials to the factory, pays a living wage here, then pays to ship the product to the end user here in the USA! I as a person need to stop thinking that cheaper is better and saving one dollar on a product is better for me. It isn’t cheaper and that fact is seen loud and clear by all of the highly educated friends you know and love that are out of work and all they qualify for now is retail sales associates. MIT and Harvard degrees do not matter in this economy that has been created by the current leaders of this nation.

Our Federal government needs to reinvent itself where American’s come first again and that is not going to happen under a continuation of George Bush policies. Governor Deval Patrick has taken the lead in reinventing Massachusetts economy by going green and endorsing the technology that will pay off in the long term for all Americans. In doing so he is securing our higher education background that is a huge contribution to our local economy. In his efforts to go green Governor Patrick is also making this state a leader in the desire of all of our nations people to get off the OPEC monkey that has been holding us back for far too long. Governor Patrick has tripped the light fantastic and in doing so many other states should follow his lead. For the time being the brightest of minds in new energy will work in Mass and that is what good government is all about. Creating a growth industry and nurturing it till it can stand on its own. Change comes slow and when it kicks in new jobs will be created nationwide that will drive the next economoy.

With all of that being said, who do you think will really play a part in changing the way we all think in America? John McCain or Barack Obama?

You decide in November.


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