In his cryptic 1965 protest song, "Ballad to a Thin Man," Bob Dylan wrote the following:
“You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked and you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so hard but you don't understand
Just what you will say when you get home
Because something is happening here but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?”
If you clicked onto this blog looking for some sort of scathing assessment of the controversial first week-and-a-half of the Trump administration, you are going to be sorely disappointed. It goes beyond the scope of my MVD blog to delve into the national politics here. Like you, the reader, I have my opinions about the state of the current flux we have at the national level, but this is going to be more about what I see happening with political awareness here in Elbert County. You may or may not agree with my analysis, but if you do not sense the changes to how people are reacting to local, state, national and world politics, you are living under a rock.
Something is happening, and to be honest, I never would have expected it. People stopped playing Candy Crush and reading about Kim Kardashian's scandalous selfies long enough to pay close attention to the news. Because of modern social media, and the twenty-four hour news cycle, people are almost instantly apprised of breaking news even if they do not generally react to it one way or another...except something different has started to happen. Mr. Trump began acting immediately on his agenda that he had set forth during his tumultuous campaign even before he took his oath of office. His base was thrilled. His opponents were mortified.
The inauguration came and went. Instead of slowing down and taking a little time to learn the ropes in Washington D.C., Trump cut those ropes down and started moving full speed ahead. This was an approach so controversial that it even had some Republican pundits scratching their heads. The guy aimed to do all the things he promised! And that was the point at which it began to affect Elbert County. Instead of sitting back with a "wait and see" attitude before getting whipped into a frenzy, people began to seek out groups to channel their dismay into something more meaningful. They joined dissent groups.
These groups have far eclipsed in numbers the ones formed to react to the election of Barrack Obama. No, they are not comprised of just disgruntled Democrats. These groups have a lot of Independents and Republicans. And, there are family members representing all generations signing up together. Let that sink in for just a moment: There are dissent groups forming that have people working together to defend what they believe is a threat to the American way and it does not fall into the neatly designed rows that our politicians love to see. It is both messy and raw. These groups are desperate for fact-based leadership that takes care of its people before anything else. If you want to see what they look like, turn on your television and go to any news report. That is where you will find them. You will find them by the thousands.
When I went to report on the Women's March on Denver, Elbert was represented in numbers I could have never imagined. What was more amazing is that some people in attendance were not the usual suspects from the Democratic Party. The same is true at other seemingly spontaneous protests at DIA, the state capitol building, etc. You see, it is not so spontaneous at all. In fact, it is highly organized and these folks are going to these events prepared to do just what Trump promised: He promised to challenge every existing political convention out there. These dissenters are out to challenge the integrity of the changes being made or even proposed and they will not stop until their voices are heard.
What is truly amazing is that is not only the current administration that is being taken to task. The agenda is spreading into state politics. There are many protests planned for the state capital to derail anything that runs counter to the needs of the people. The arguments are well reasoned and based in fact. Protestors have prominent speakers and compelling examples to back their demands. This “movement” is in its infancy and it is expanding. There are discussions to hold the politicians at the county level accountable for their actions. This agenda of dissent is based in what these people hold as fair and legal. It is coming and because of the participants’ abilities to instruct and inform, they will be formidable opponents to any governing body that is viewed as being self-serving or unfair.
Our new BOCC has begun things in a very promising manner and the commissioners are to be congratulated for their calls for a more friendly atmosphere in Kiowa. We need that as we face the inevitable growth issues in the near future. That said, there will be a time in the not so distant future when the people of these groups might believe it is necessary to use these same skills of demonstrating and dissent on the elected officials of Elbert County. If and when it happens, it will be something that we have never seen before in our local politics, and I predict it will make for some highly contentious political battles that will far out shadow anything we have ever seen at our county seat. This is the Tea Party concept on steroids. I put no pluses or minuses on this statement. Something is always lost in battle. But if you believe that what is transpiring across America is going to grow tired and disappear, you might just think again.