Thoughts – Tale of Two Cities

The Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” This story by Charles Dickens tells of the contrast and comparison of Paris and London and the dark and difficult days during the French Revolution.

Today we live in a time of political and Cultural Revolution within the United States of America. The worst of us are working hard to undermine a sense of community and liberty. The best of us are working hard to maintain that sense of community.

Let me share a personal experience I had while I lived in Denmark. We’ve all heard how wonderful the socialist governments of Scandinavia are.
However, I witnessed that individual connections and responsibilities have been replaced by their collective government.

As I walked down the streets of Roskilde, I noticed block after block of perfectly manicured lawns and hedges with brightly colored flowers. Then I came across a home that looked like a complete disaster. Out of curiosity, I knocked on the door, and an elderly widow invited me in. After our short visit, I proceeded to ask some of my church friends if they would help me give service to this kind woman. Then came the answer that has pierced my soul to this day. “No” was the response I received, “call city hall, and they will send someone to manage her yard.”

Twenty-eight years later, I still regret this as a missed opportunity for neighbors to come together, know one another, and care and help one another. Instead, a faceless, bureaucratic agency funded by bloated taxation was sent to solve the problem.

The State cannot raise our children, mow our lawns, and befriend our neighbors. America’s optimism, charity, and neighborliness is the basis of the CAN-DO attitude that fueled America to victory in WWII, September 11th, and locally when the Teton dam broke.

If we rely too much on government, this American spirit will start to dim and eventually be extinguished.

So how do we avoid the problem that I experienced in Denmark those many years ago? We limit our reliance on a government that can never solve our problems as a neighbor can. Each neighborhood and neighbor is valued and unique.

Only a neighbor/friend, a Pastor, a Bishop, or your family will know how best to help in times of need.

Sometimes the city is the right resource to solve our problems, but it is never always the right resource. I love the story of how the community came together to improve and save McDermott field.

When the Snake River flooded, I also remember that thousands of volunteers were mustered to place sandbags and save our cities and neighbors’ homes. There are many examples of this community coming together. If we rely on the city to perform these functions, we will lose this part of our American Heritage.
If you elect me to the City Council, I will fight to maintain our community and our American culture of optimism, personal responsibility, and charity.