This series is my attempt at both educating the public about how the lower levels of the party structure in our system of government work. It is also for those taking on the little-known and drastically underfilled position of Precinct Representative. This is an incredibly important position.
Many of the politicians you see at the Municipal, County, State, and Federal levels started here. The qualities of the people rising up from these ranks are a direct result of our national attitude toward "politics" as being "dirty." If only "dirty" people go into politics - which forms the government that regulate our lives - then our government will remain "dirty."
It is beyond time for a class of dedicated civil servants to enter through the ground floor of our government, and filter up through its ranks to form a decent, compassionate, and dedicated government.
It is up to us, the Citizens of these United States, to make "Civil Service" something worthy of admiration, respect, and honor. Indeed, it is our duty, even more so than military service. (No disrespect to my fellow military Veterans.)
It is the civilian government that makes the decisions that determine if there is peace or war. If there is war for profit, it is because the majority who have entered our government are primarily concerned with profit.
If the environment is ruined for profit, it is also because the majority who have entered our government are primarily concerned with profit.
The list of problems derived of corporatism and its exploitation of the personal profit motive is long, and dire. However, as a people, we have allowed a vacuum to exist in the lower echelons of our government that has allowed those who care more about money than honor and compassion to fill government.
This constitutes neglect of our civil duty as citizens. It is my firm belief that this neglect is far more a result of ignorance of the most basic levels of our government and how it functions than willful neglect. That ignorance, compounded by an incorrect attitude of "dirtiness" on the part of those entering government at all levels - fostered by those who currently enjoy exploiting the resulting "honor vacuum" in government - continues this situation.
Instead of running away from our civilian government, people of honor and compassion must run to it. Our government is only as good as the people that constitute it.
I personally know several people worthy of great respect and honor, filled with compassion and determination, who serve thanklessly as Precinct Representatives. There is room for many more such people. Many precincts have no representative at all.
This situation leaves the Precinct Representative position open and vulnerable to those who see it as the first rung on a ladder to power and profit.
Rather than serve a long and dedicated term as a compassionate representative of the people living in their precinct, such persons run for higher and higher offices, until they are in a position to enrich their own lives at the expense of the vast majority of the people they are supposed to represent and serve.
The only way to stop this is for the best of us to fill up the bottom of the ladder, and to make sure that only the best of the best rise up from it.
Until this becomes the normal and honored long-term tradition of our society, we will suffer. For such a tradition to begin and continue, the "why and how" of it must, MUST, become widely-known public knowledge.
To that end, I write this series, dreaming and hoping and working for a better America and world.
The name for a Precinct Representative in Illinois, "Precinct Committeeman," is codified in Illinois State law that was passed in an era when few women served in government. In modern society, the title is antiquated and sexist by nature. However, it is the legal title for the office until the law is changed. I use that title on this blog simply because it is the correct legal title in Illinois as of this writing.
There are many rights, duties, and functions for a Precinct Committeeman in Illinois, regardless of the gender of the officer. There are many female Precinct Committeemen.
The rights of the office differ depending on whether a PC is elected or appointed.
There is also a different set of rules governing this office in Cook county - where the city of Chicago is located - than in the rest of the State.
Personally, I believe that the title, rights, and duties of the office should be made uniform throughout the State. However, I must inform my readers from the context of the currently-existing structure.
My personal experience as a PC for two terms took place in DuPage county. I am not well-versed on the structure in Cook county, and therefore cannot speak to it.
*This post will be further updated later today.