Our corrupted institutions fear that the American people are taking back their birthright—that is, taking back the concept of self-government.

A relatively new, but growing media genre highlights that dynamic.

Over the past few years, there have been a growing number of national media stories—really, more like partisan exposés, rather than “X, Y, Z happened”—about local politics.

The legacy media now follow an oft-replicated formula in this new genre.

The first step is to unearth a local political body that conservatives have taken control of through an election or series of elections.

Next, define the newly elected officials as unhinged, right-wing wackos who represent a kind of proto-fascism in America.

Then, find a few squishy, Chamber of Commerce-type Republicans to quote, saying something like, “Everything here was great and reasonable until these mean, unreasonable people showed up.”

Finally, after describing the purported upstarts in the darkest and most threatening way possible, bury what they actually intend to do somewhere near the end of the article. It’s usually something like switching to paper ballots in elections, shaping the curriculums of local schools, or getting sexually explicit content out of classrooms.

You know, stuff that was totally normal until the media said it wasn’t, a half-second ago.

A recent example of this phenomenon would be an Associated Press article on Sunday about how conservatives are winning local county board and commission elections in Tennessee. The AP’s Twitter account referred to the conservatives as “far right.”

What exactly does “far right” mean? The AP Stylebook doesn’t say, but it seems like it means “people who effectively combat the Left.”

The AP reporter wrote that those allegedly “far right” people are “operating outside political norms, inviting lawsuits, and jeopardizing elections and other county operations.”

But the evidence for that is that some of the new county commissioners opposed increased property taxes, sought to change election rules, and—horror of horrors—invoked Christian values in making decisions.

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

Oh, wait, that’s not from the Sumner County Commission in Tennessee. It’s George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

The Sumner County Commission document that the AP highlighted said that its operations would be conducted in an orderly way and “most importantly, reflective of the Judeo-Christian values inherent in the nation’s founding.”

So, they were referring to the principles of George Washington and the Founders, who must have been “far right” extremists by the standards of the legacy media.

Another story, this one from NBC in early May, detailed how conservatives in Woodland Park, Colorado, transformed a school district.

Again, the rather lengthy report portrayed conservatives as this alien, ominous threat that was changing a nonpartisan school board.

The new elected coalition sought to reshape the curriculum and did away with some “mental health” services they found to be ineffective. 

A bunch of staff quit. So what?

If anything, the story revealed that when conservative voters get their act together, vote for candidates who reflect their values, and the candidates implement those values, real change happens.

And this gets to why the Left and their media pawns are in a panic over something seemingly so minor. They are not so mighty yet that they are above fear. Doubt gnaws at them. They fear what you, the people, might become.

In a sense, local stories like these represent a distinct flip of the adage that “all politics is local.” Now, all politics is national. The Left senses an existential threat to its power when there’s even the tiniest successful rebellion against its agenda.

Unquestionably, the Left puts its stamp on our politics through its control of all the big, elite institutions and organizations—whether it’s the federal bureaucracy, multinational corporations, legacy media, Hollywood, foundation philanthropy, academia, and even sports.

For too long, American politics operated on autopilot, allowing the Left to essentially have its way. A vast cultural and political revolution has been taking place in the West with little input from the people who have become used to accepting it.

But the transformation of our institutions in the past few years, from vessels of technocratic incrementalism to active and imperious enforcers of cultural revolution, opened the eyes of many. It appears that our country—at one time founded on the idea of deliberation and consent of the governed—is now being ruled by an out-of-touch managerial class.

This ruling class has become accustomed to being the gatekeepers of what’s considered acceptable opinion in this country and others. They are used to being able to pressure government agencies, corporations, and civil society to do their bidding. That’s why they acted with such hysteria when Elon Musk took over Twitter. Musk wasn’t even a “conservative,” but he also couldn’t be controlled.

But a larger challenge is coming to their oligarchic control than the management reversal at Twitter, or even the boycotts of Anheuser-Busch and Target.

In the past several decades, we have lost much of our exceptional self-government. What we are potentially seeing now—in states such as Florida and Texas, in local school board elections in Virginia and Indiana, and in county commissions in Colorado and Tennessee—is Americans reclaiming that tradition.

No longer can we wait while unelected bureaucrats and multinational corporations determine our fate. We, the people, have the right to define our society.

The Left often talks about how we are “losing our democracy.” That’s not true. We are bringing it back.

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