President’s Day Message – All Politics is National | SARC

Happy President’s Day! I hope you get to enjoy a day off with your loved ones and can find some peace today. 

President’s Day is an odd holiday—originally, we celebrated George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd, but eventually transitioned to celebrating on the third Monday of February primarily to appease labor unions who wanted more three-day weekends.  

The holiday was then seen as a celebration of Abraham Lincoln, born February 12th, and George Washington. Now, it’s seen as a vague celebration of the men who have held that rare distinction of having occupied the Oval Office.  

It’s an odd holiday for a republic such as ours; for many it is slightly monarchial to have a day celebrating all presidents. Surely there are some presidents we wish we hadn’t endured. Personally, I fantasize about what the United States without Woodrow Wilson’s eight years of dictatorial progressivism would look like.  

But this year, President’s Day has reminded me of a frustrating problem in our politics in general. We are, as a country forgetting our own backyards to focus on the biggest, most distant issues facing our nation.  

The old saying goes “all politics is local.” It meant that people whose hometowns were in trouble would bring that attitude to the national stage.  

Unfortunately, that is not the case.  

Instead, we bring our national attitude to the local level.  

During the 2022 elections, I knocked on a lot of doors and greeted a lot of people at the polls. Far too many voters were entirely unaware of what issues were facing the city and instead focused on what they’d seen on cable news recently. While canvassing for Richard Smith’s City Council campaign, I was more than once asked, “What’s his opinion on January 6th?” When I reminded these voters that this was a city election, they would often get frustrated and demand that I talk about what was going on in Washington DC.  

Looking around our city I saw many signs for Greg Abbot but very few for Jennifer Virden. 

And we have seen the massive turnout for Senate and Presidential elections, but very low voter engagement in the elections closest to home; local elections. 

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t care about the nation, but rather to note that in the elections people can have the most impact in, we should see more engagement. 

What is happening?  

Why have people started ignoring their own hometowns in favor of fixating purely on national politics? 

I believe that the proliferation of cable news like Fox, CNN, and MSNBC has caused people to focus less on local news. You can, after all, only watch one show at a time. The national news outlets have larger budgets and can have more entertaining content, more interesting hosts, and can bring up stories from around the world. A local news station can tell you the weather and what bond initiative the city is about to vote on. 

It’s hardly an even playing field.  

Social media isn’t helping either. We live in a closed loop on social media—sharing and resharing the stories that those in our circle are sharing. And the stories that get shared are those that the most people are impacted by; national stories.  

We see the evidence of this disengagement with local issues in another way; the death of local papers. Now I’m not suggesting, as some leftists have, that the government should subsidize local newspapers. That idea is equally parts laughable and unhelpful. But it is still a small tragedy that people have so little care for what occurs just down the road that newspapers cannot even afford to remain in business. 

There is no easy solution to this problem. It will require a cultural shift, away from the national stage toward the local. It will require work since journalists too are increasingly unintended in the local stories. But nothing good was ever easy.  

This President’s Day, I hope that going forward you will remind your friends that what happens closest to home is often most important. It’s certainly where they can have the most impact. Taking an interest in a local issue, taking police contracts as an example, is what we as free citizens are supposed to do. Protecting our homes and ensuring that our neighborhoods are well cared for is our calling in a free republic.  

All politics may be national, but it doesn’t have to be.  

President’s Day Message – All Politics is National | SARC

South Austin News | SARC

“This morning, Austin Energy had around 3 dozen homes without power, but around by 5:25 a.m. that number jumped to 7,772.” FOX7 “People were seen fighting over food in the dumpster at an H-E-B store in South Austin on William Cannon and I-35 yesterday.” FOX7 “A residential development containing 375 units and rising up to seven floors at the…

Presidential Debate: The Results Are In – Polls | SARC

Originally tweeted by CSPAN (@cspan) on September 30, 2020.

Originally posted by SARC ( on September 29, 2020.

South Austin News | SARC

“Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.” KUT 5 Fun Things in South Austin – DO512 “A 25-year-old man has been arrested for…

Are We Rewarding Failure? | SARC

Austin City Council voted to increase their pay by 40% last week by an overwhelming margin. Out of the eleven members, only three opposed this egregious hike in pay; Paige Ellis (D8), Vanessa Fuentes (D2), and the redoubtable Mackenzie Kelly (D6).

Who won the 1st 2020 Presidential debate?

Murders in the Park | SARC

In 2020, the city council removed $150 million from the Austin Police budget. While this author has given special attention in the past to the obscenity of losing our sex crimes unit, there is another element that was eliminated causing all too tragic consequences. 

Where to watch the 2020 Presidential debate | SARC

Grab your popcorn and beverage of choice and let’s gear up for the 1st 2020 Presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden.

Here’s where you can watch it from anywhere:

Unlike the primary debates, which are televised by a rotating slate of channels, the presidential debates are simulcast across all the major networks and cable news programs. If you have cable or satellite TV, or a live streaming TV service or a Mohu antenna, check your local listings—do those exist anymore?—and you’re good.

In the name of completism, you can find the debate on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, MSNBC, and CSPAN. Basically it’ll be harder to avoid it than to watch it.

You can also stream it on those various networks’ sites and/or YouTube channels. If you’re looking for something to bookmark, CBSCSPAN, and ABC News have YouTube streams ready to go. Most of these channels have streaming apps on the major providers: Apple TV, RokuAmazon Fire TVAndroid TVXbox One, and so on.

If you’re more interested in sounds than sights, you can also stick with NPR’s coverage, which you can find on your local station or through the NPR One app.


Youtube will also have live streaming as well as Facebook.

The Details…

Location: President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, will meet at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The University of Notre Dame withdrew as host because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The moderatorChris Wallace, the anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” will moderate the debate. It will be the second time he has moderated a presidential debate; the first was between Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Topics announced: The moderator has full discretion in picking the debate topics. For the first round, Mr. Wallace chose Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, race and violence in cities, and the integrity of the election. There will be 15 minutes to discuss each topic.

The Commission on Presidential Debates