We cannot turn on the news without hearing another story about the dysfunction that is occurring in our nation and in our federal government. We are faced with a continuous erosion of our moral fiber that has traditionally held us together as a nation.
I am proud to have been raised in and to still live in North Georgia. I was taught the importance of hard work, the importance of being good to each other and the importance of always putting God first.
Many people feel, and I agree, that we have lost our way in this country.
I grew up on a farm and I often say everything I ever needed to know I learned there, with the most important of these being common sense. Many of our leaders seem to have forgotten or lost this important trait over the past few years.
I believe we stand at a great crossroads in our nation's history. We cannot wait any longer to rekindle the American spirit and to restore common sense to not only our government but to every aspect of our lives. I ask each of you to join with me in this effort.
I was blessed to grow up in North Georgia surrounded by extended family and friends. My grandparents also owned a farm and lived in a home with two of the rooms being over 150 years old.
We would often gather on Sunday afternoons during the summer and early fall, cut a watermelon, sit on the front porch, eat it and discuss a wide variety of topics, and of course solve all the world's problems - Front Porch Politics. This term was first coined in several of the presidential races in the late 1800s.
Working toward getting back to the basics, I am bringing back the concept of "Front Porch Politics."
It's simple: an individual invites their friends, family and neighbors over to their house. Then I bring the watermelon, and we sit on the front porch and discuss issues that are important to them.
I have found by meeting with people in this type of setting that we can go a long way toward finding real solutions to our most critical and pressing issues.
I have already started to hold these meetings and the response has been overwhelming.
People are excited to sit down and actually discuss issues in a positive environment.
There are many people today that like to point out what others are doing wrong, but they are not prepared to offer solutions of their own.
Many of these individuals are more interested in promoting themselves by tearing others down than they are at solving problems.
I remain encouraged that we live in and I represent an area where our citizens are interested in being engaged in finding answers to our tough issues.
I am encouraged that they are interested in working together to ensure that our children have a brighter future.
During these "Front Porch Politics" sessions, I have found many of these individuals. I have enjoyed listening to their concerns and ideas on a wide-range of topics.
We have discussed education, taxes, technical training, Medicaid, criminal justice, mental health and many other issues. Not only have the participants asked questions, but they have also offered some very intriguing ideas.
I look forward to working with other leaders to put these ideas into action.
I have several of these events already scheduled over the next few weeks. If you are interested in hosting a "Front Porch Politics" event at your home, please contact me. There is no cost to host or participate in one of these events.
The agenda and the topics that are discussed are left to those that are in attendance.
Mark your calendars and plan to join me for a "Family Fun Day" at Burt's Pumpkin Farm on August 17. The event starts at 5 p.m. Gov. Nathan Deal and many other state and local elected officials from across the area will be there.
Rep. Kevin Tanner can be reached at (678) 776-5059, or at the Capitol at (404) 656-0152 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.