I no longer believe politics is a topic where a meaningful contribution can be made by an ordinary citizen (beyond voting and very basic civic engagement).
If I continue writing on subjects of policy, I think I'll try to generate evergreen descriptions of policy issues in the highest fidelity possible. But I'm not entirely convinced that's what many people want, nor that there exists a group of people who care that I can successfully find in this crowded media environment.
At the end of the day, the only people who need to know about the policy behind water accessibility are the people implementing it. While it is clear from the most recent election that literally none of my own local representatives do understand the policy elements involved (it turns out my jurisdiction elects the person responsible for utilities), it is also clear that they have no interest in learning.
I do not have the constitution to brave running for public office, nor the patience to persistently fail to feed people their vegetables. And this, my short-lived attempt to write something interesting that was incidentally discussing ideas of importance, makes me sick to my stomach.
Some civil servants may do their jobs less than perfectly, but we are entering a media climate with no focus or kindness. Important ideas are forgotten or never discussed, and the only rule is scandal leads the way. Every flaw, real or imagined, is used to tear people down. People who are trying to do good, but more importantly, they simply need more help. More funding, sometimes. More witnesses to come forward to help punish criminals. More engagement from students. More guidance on how to best serve the needs of their community.
The American government delivers fantastic services at astonishingly low tax levels.
There are plenty of ways to improve, and lots of people are trying. I just don't know how to participate in that, as a private citizen. So I'm going to stop pretending I can.