IWUZ – door knocking the other evening on behalf of our local Wildrose candidate (Wildrose is a conservative, libertarian party in Alberta), and one of my neighbors said he didn’t get involved in politics. I said you are, whether you want to be or not.
My name is Dave Reesor and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Most Canadians are aware that there is a provincial election in Alberta on April 23d; just as most Americans, and many Canadians, are aware that there is a Presidential election; now apparently narrowed down to 2 contenders, and elections for Congress, and various other positions, happening in the US. In the IWUZ blog I hope to get behind politics and start a conversation about the ideas, philosophy and worldviews behind politics.
Peter Risser and his wife Anna Hershey moved to the American Colonies from Switzerland in 1739, and pioneered some raw land in the wild American West, about 100 miles west of Philadelphia near what is now Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. The Peter Risser church (Risser is the original name that came over from Switzerland), built in 1775, still stands and is used weekly. A century later, more Hershey’s moved to Pennsylvania and started a candy business.
In 1804, my branch of the family moved again, this time to the wilds of Canada, founding what is now Markham Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. I now have thousands of family members, and many friends, on both sides of the border. The Risser name has mutated into 14 different spellings including Reser, Reese, Reasor, and the Canadian version, Reesor.
The immigrant story has been repeated thousands of times over 400 years, on both sides of the border, by your families as well as mine; families that moved to North America for security, opportunity, and freedom. Even the earliest settlers, our aboriginal peoples, came here from Asia for the same fundamental reasons.
We Canadians and Americans have become exemplary neighbors and allies, at least since we threw you out during the War of 1812. Just joking Americans!! For decades we have been the World’s largest trading partners across the World’s longest – 5000 mile, (8000 kilometer), undefended border.
Canada is the largest foreign supplier of lumber, oil, comedians, actors and musicians to the United States. (I apologize for some of them but Celine Dionne is one of the hazards that come with proximity, and an open border relationship).
The United States supplies Canada with great cars (again), IPods, Phones, and Pads; movies and TV, warm getaways in the winter, the Blues and Rock and Roll; and on occasion, Celine Dionne at Caesar’s Palace. We are grateful.
We live in different countries, but we face the same problem. Our politicians, whether they call themselves (L)liberals or (C)conservatives, progressives or social democrats, regular Democrats or Republicans; all seem to end up loading us with more paperwork, bureaucracy, and nanny state intrusion into our lives. Most politicians seem to succumb to what is called The Beltway Syndrome in the US, or they are Ottawashed in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. I suppose in Britain, common sense is Londoneered out of them.
In any case, too much government and too much bureaucracy is a global disease; one that I believe requires a global solution. Paradoxically, the solution is not global government, but instead, a return to local government. Yet, again paradoxically, it will not be cured in isolation because we live in a socially and economically globalized world.
I believe the cure will begin within the Anglo-sphere; Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The last 100 years have frequently brought us together as natural born allies in the fight for freedom; with our common language, common legal institutions built on common law, and the idea that citizens grant powers to the state, not the other way around. France and Germany, or France and Britain, or even Norway and Sweden can never be allies in this fundamental sense.
Sadly, over the last 60 years, our freedoms have been severely eroded by the bureaucracy, and what Neil Postman called the Technopoly – that shapeless mass of “experts in everything”, meant to make you feel inadequate. It’s time again to unite in arms; this time using electronic media and the ballot box in the fight for freedom, and the right to “Do it Ourselves”.
Contrary to what my neighbor said; we are all involved in all of life, and that includes politics. Let us know what you think.
Going back, for our future.