Former House Speaker “Tip” O'Neill famously said, “All politics is local.” Every great civil rights movement has started at the grassroots — neighbors talking over the fence, workers organizing on the assembly line, women and children striking in textile factories, African Americans meeting in churches, LGBT communities coalescing together for Pride events. The Founding Fathers frequently met in lodges and taverns of colonial America to organize and declare independence from tyranny, which led to the ratification of the single most important document in human history — the Constitution of the United States.

Today, this sacred document is under attack, not from foreign enemies, but domestic usurpers who wish to erode our God-given and inalienable rights, and pull our great nation back into the dark ages of authoritarianism and aristocracy. It starts by attacking communities, families and the local governments created to represent the people and serve the people. It is easy to not notice this creeping authoritarianism in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, viral internet videos and the culture of mass distraction. Nobody hardly noticed a young Adolf Hitler in the beer halls of Munich until it was too late.

Now all over America, our system government is under attack by appointed bureaucrats, administrators, aristocrats and corporations. This is especially true here in Tehachapi. In the last election, the winning City Council candidates received more than 70 percent of their campaign donations from three major donors. One donor is a multi-national corporation based in Germany, another a wealthy landowner who does not live in the city and, finally, a family of local aristocrats who own a considerable amount of real estate in the city limits of Tehachapi. They have financed a City Council that views the citizens of Tehachapi as subjects to be taxed, regulated and stifled, to pursue their own agenda and not the needs of We The People.

I urge all my neighbors and fellow citizens to take a stand against this tyranny on July 1 at the next City Council meeting. Let them know that we are a proud country, we are jealous of our God-given rights and freedoms, and we definitely will NOT sit down.

Clint Davies, Tehachapi