My Point of View: The nation was intended to be run by people like you and me

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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My Point of View by Brad Kramer

America was founded on the idea of citizen representation. One of the many advantages or strengths of the American way is the involvement of citizens in government and politics. Nothing is out of reach for anyone willing to work hard for something reasonable. That means that we, as citizens, have access to the resources to change how our communities and nation are governed.

Brad Kramer

By the time this publishes, the Freeborn County GOP will have had its caucus. For the past several years, I’ve attended as a party officer or committee chair to volunteer to help the event go smoothly. I will never forget the energy in the room a few years ago at another Republican event where citizens filled the rooms, while the newspaper article showed the sparse turnout for the same DFL event.

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Government belongs to us, the citizens. Our Constitution protects our rights. Many constitutions around the world, particularly in Socialist nations, have constitutions that are more focused on protecting the government from the people, whereas ours protects us from the tyranny of an oppressive government. And with that right comes responsibilities. As citizens, we have responsibilities to get involved in our government and community.

I highly recommend learning about Robert’s Rules of Order. Read a summary to start with. I’ve served on dozens of committees, and been part of hundreds of meetings in business and government, and if you take time to learn Robert’s Rules of Order, it will begin making everything from Congressional hearings to county commissioner meetings to your company’s safety committee all look like they have something in common … they almost always follow, with varying degrees of formality, Robert’s Rules of Order. Sure, the U.S. Senate might follow many of their own procedures, to a much higher level of formality, but it’s the same basic format. I first learned about Robert’s Rules of Order as a Boy Scout, having filled several leadership roles, because Scouting also follows Robert’s Rules of Order, so once I graduated and started getting involved in business meetings, it wasn’t that different. And not much different than when I’m in watershed meeting. So, if you’re always unfamiliar with how political and professional meetings are run, read up on Robert’s Rules of Order and just jump in as a citizen representative! Whether it’s your local GOP, city or county government, your workplace, a charity or philanthropy of your choice, or whatever else you’re passionate about that makes a difference, get involved and take your skills to the places where it can make a difference.

For me, part of that is being involved in the GOP, as well as the watershed and other organizations. As a citizen representative, I take parts of my expertise from my career as an environmental professional to our watershed district to help make good decisions for our community, for example. Each of us should aspire to have some level of involvement in our community, whether it’s coaching your kids’ sports team or club, being on a community board, being a regular volunteer at an assisted nursing facility or humane society, or whatever your skills and passions lead you to do, we are a nation of citizens who take care of each other. That’s also part of why we were such a prosperous nation. We didn’t need to tax each other to hire it out. We did it.

As part of the leadership for the Freeborn County GOP, I often get “asked” to participate in events like the caucus or convention. I’m very much an introvert. Crowds aren’t my jam. Like Robert’s Rules of Order, I’ve had to learn to look like I’m not about to pee my pants every time someone asks me a question because I look like I should know what’s going on. And as I work these events, feeling like I’m doing my best to uphold my civic duties, feeling out of place and uncomfortable, I sense many of the patriots I’m working with are feeling the same thing. We do it because we love our nation and want to be involved in how we’re governed. We want to make sure there’s a sense of fairness and adherence to the Constitution.

If you look at government as something afar, for someone else, I encourage you to get involved with your political party. If you’re on the fence, simply visit the monthly meetings. There’s no commitment or membership required. The Freeborn County GOP meets at 211 S. Broadway in Albert Lea at 5 p.m. the second Monday of every month. We are a fun group who love America and would love to have you visit us to find out why we’re the party for you! Our nation wasn’t intended to be governed by politicians and bureaucrats. It was intended to be run by people like you and me!

Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.