The presidential race gets all the big headlines, but don’t sleep on the House, Senate, and local elections. Even if President Trump is reelected to a second term, he won’t be able to push through his second term agenda if the Democrats hold both chambers of Congress.
The pandemic has shown us how important state and local politics are. Democrat governors have locked down entire states and Democrat mayors have sat by as their cities have been decimated by rioters and looters.
It is easy to get lost in the presidential race, but we can’t take our eye off the ball with regard to these other races. America was designed to be a federalist nation in which the states were co-equal in many regards with the federal government.
The states created the federal government, not the other way around. Those who govern locally have a better idea of what their constituents want and how best to serve them. An unelected government worker in a concrete building in Washington D.C. can’t possibly know all there is to know about projects or issues that matter to local residents.
Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that “local assemblies of the people constitute the strength of free nations. Municipal institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science: they bring it within the people’s reach and teach them how to use and enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty.”
There are several key races in the Senate as well. There are two Senate seats open in Georgia, with polls for both showing the Republicans with a narrow lead. Lindsey Graham is in danger of losing in South Carolina. Senator Thom Tillis is trailing behind his opponent, as are Susan Collins in Maine and Joni Ernst in Iowa. Cory Gardener is in a tight race against John Hickenlooper in Colorado, and Martha McSally is trailing Marc Kelly in Arizona.
The Federalist had an interesting piece in which it was written that “While the ‘up-ballot’ races always get the press, down-ballot races prove time and again to have a huge impact on your personal life. If you think this through, up-ballot races are downstream from your down-ballot races. If your community is dominated by socialists running for the board of supervisors or town council, it’s a safe bet that your state will follow suit (if it hasn’t already). As more cities and states adopt lawless agendas, the U.S. Congress as well as the presidency are more at risk for promoting such lawlessness as well.”
It is incredibly important that President Trump is elected to serve a second term. However, there are more races to pay attention to at the state and national level. The presidential race is the most high-profile, but it doesn’t make it the only elected position that matters in America.
Our system wasn’t designed that way. The Founders understood the importance of state and local elections, so let’s hope that Americans still do as well.
This November, get out there and cast your vote for every election, not just the ones that the headlines are focusing on. Our country’s future may hang in the balance.