I have recently attended a few social gatherings. Inevitably I am asked about any political ambitions that I might have. The truth is that I would love to serve our community. But I am realistic. I am well aware that my willingness to challenge status quo special interests has rendered me all but unelectable. And that is OK. I do what I do because I believe it is important to consider and debate the issues that affect our community. I don't seek popularity and I won't be intimidated into silence by the thug element of the status quo. That said, I do hope that some of the ideas that I support will find expression in the actions taken, or not taken, by our local elected officials.
Which leads me to a question that I have been pondering. Is winning an elected office the only or best way to influence public policy? I hope not. Politicians vote on ideas. The ideas which garner the most support from people will almost always result in support from politicians. It is not neccessary that the idea be a good idea, only a popular idea. Most politicians are merely the tools through which popular ideas are expresses in public policy. My conclusion is that the best way to influence public policy (in a positive manner) is to help good ideas to become popular ideas. Thus the battle to popularize ideas is at least as important, if not more important than the battle to win elected office, because the politicians will merely adjust their votes according to what their constituents find to be popular.
As such, the critical task is to identify good ideas and share them with the widest possible audience. This is easier said than done. The internet is helpful. A newspaper would be better.