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Because winter is on the way, my husband decided it was time to get new tires on my SUV. Rich and I drove separately to the service station so I would not have to wait while the tires were being changed. Another customer, Doug, was also getting work done. He and Rich began conversing, and Rich discovered that Doug needed to be at work in a half an hour and offered to give him a lift. I, of course, rode along.

Additional conversation revealed that Doug tried to live by God’s rules. He continued to tell us that he minded his own business and allowed others to do the same. Isn’t that the way most of us live our lives? We are free people, and we mind our own business, take care of our responsibilities, respect the rights of others and play by the rules.

I bet most of us in Hopkinsville are just like Doug. We fall into the category of conventional or mainstream Americans. By nature we don’t like unpleasantness and conflict. We try to handle differences by reasoning, explaining and offering evidence.

I well remember my civics teacher, Mr. Abraham, explaining and demonstrating the concept of freedom as guaranteed by our Constitution. He flailed his fists in front of the classroom and told us that we were free to do that until we hit someone’s nose. Then the fist-waving had to stop. The lesson we learned was “live and let live.”

Most of us remember other lessons from our civics classes. Our government is limited by the Constitution. We understand “checks and balances” and the way our government is supposed to work. We believe that voting is the way to shut down political leaders who are abusing our Constitution.

Many think that civics and politics are two different things. Civics is the way things should be, but politics frequently involves unpleasantness. We follow our civic duty and vote, but when we leave the voting booth, we leave politics behind. We are not political animals and we do not want to become sullied by the nastiness that politics often presents.

Because most of us thrive on harmony, many have avoided getting politically involved at any level. By doing so, we have allowed the radical left to take control of American politics. We mainstream Americans have abdicated our duty to protect the liberties our Constitution provides. Did you ever think our government could force us to buy something we did not want, such as health insurance?

I had always thought that Americans entered government service to build and preserve a just and prosperous community, state or nation. The difference was just the vehicle (political party) we chose to pursue that goal. We must come to the realization that there is a difference among the political parties, and it matters the one you choose to associate with (even on the local level).

Sadly, the national Democratic Party has been high-jacked by hardcore leftists. The hardcore left does not view government the way most of us do. When mainstream Americans become involved in government, we do so to be public servants. Radical leftists enter government for control and power.

Their goal is to grow government, destroy liberties and minimize our freedom to make choices because they know best.

Political issues are often disquieting, and mainstream Americans have little stomach for disagreements, so we spend little time delving into them. We never want to make a fuss. This causes us to be uninformed or misinformed. The radical left counts on that and uses sweet rhetoric to change the subject and create confusion.

Our not wanting to cause a fuss has allowed the hardcore left to infiltrate institutions that significantly influence our culture and our children. The radical left has become the loudest voices of our public schools, newsrooms and the entertainment industry.

If conservatives, by chance, win an election, those voices tell us it is now time to compromise and “reach out to the other side.” When liberals win, they tell us “the people have spoken. Listen to the voice of the people.”

Mainstream Americans are the “sleeping giants of American politics.” In the book “Waking the Sleeping Giant” by Timothy Daughtry and Gary Casselman, they state: “If the American republic is to be restored … it will be because the sleeping giant of the American mainstream woke up and remembered a forgotten truth. We are the guardians of the constitutional republic, and the power to restore it lies within us.”

If you have ever considered running for political office, now is the time. You have until Jan. 31 to declare your candidacy. Remember Edwin Burke’s words, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” Wake up, mainstream Christian Countians. Your city, state, and nation need you.

WILLEE COOPER is a former teacher and military spouse. A Hopkinsville resident, she is past president of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. Her column runs on the first and third Friday of each month. Reach her at willeecooper@gmail.com.

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