You Get The Government You Deserve
Good morning, y’all. Another beautiful day here in the mountains. I imagine most folks are proud of where they live, and I guess for the most part I am proud to be a Georgian, but I do see a lot that could be better. We Georgians seem to be the example of a pendulum that swings to extremes on a great many issues.
The placement of a “Freedom Bell” at Stone Mountain to honor Dr. King’s famous speech seemed to be a no-brainer. Turns out it was another example of the extreme viewpoints some folks hold here in Georgia. Fortunately, we had a champion of the people, Nathan Deal, as Governor at the time. Now, I know some of you folks are asking, “What was Nathan’s take on the issue?”
While Nathan was generally approving of the measure when it was first announced, he since decided to lead from the rear. Brother Nathan shared his opinion, “I thought it was a unique idea. But like any good idea, unless you have people to buy into it, what may be a good idea may not prove to be so good after all.” That’s politic for, “I need to see which decision is going to cost me the most business before I really say whether I’m fer or agin’ the measure”.
Now, in all honesty, I can see how having a cross burned in your front yard might affect your thinking, particularly if your yard is the Governor’s mansion. In my humble opinion, Nathan should just tell his cousin Daryl to quit burning crosses in his yard every time it looks like the Sons of The Confederacy aren’t going to get to revert society back to the 1860’s. In spite of all the “Sons” can do, the War is over, The South lost, and we don’t have slavery anymore.
I know it’s a tough pill for some folks to swallow that there’s a whole race of people that aren’t automatically subjugated at birth anymore. But times change, women don’t wear corsets anymore. There’s also this little Constitutional amendment, the fourteenth, that guarantees all Americans the same rights and privileges. It would seem that allowing the folks to exercise the right to put a “Freedom Bell” on top of Stone Mountain to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a native Georgian, would be a win – win. Some folks aren’t interested in a win – win, though.
I’m sure that the symbolism of the Freedom Bell being displayed above the stone carving of the Confederate heroes was not lost on the haters. The Freedom Bell was eventually located in downtown Stone Mountain allowing Generals Lee and Jackson and Jefferson Davis to not be continually looking over their shoulders. What was lost in the confusion was the ability to bring in a group of people who don’t normally visit the Cathedral of the Confederacy. The thoughts of how to merge two very disparate groups over the shared memorials must have been driving the Stone Mountain Amusement people nuts.
Lest you think I’m too hard on our illustrious former Governor, please let me elaborate on Nathan’s reason for returning to Georgia from Washington. Congress gave him the opportunity to leave rather than be charged with corruption. This is an interesting article in the Washington Post detailing the events, along with a link to the actual review of the congressional investigation. As a Georgian, the only question you should be asking is, “if you are too corrupt for the U.S. Congress, why in the world should I vote for you for Governor?”. Like I said, we are a state of extreme pendulum swings.
Googling “nathan deal corruption”, will bring up enough reading material to keep you going for weeks. Nathan kind of puts me in mind of ex Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, but without the charm. I once asked one of my buddies from Louisiana why they kept re-electing Edwards after all of his scandals. His reply was, “we expect all politicians to cheat and steal, we just expect them to be smart enough to not get caught”. Nathan Deal, disqualified in Louisiana by virtue of not being smart enough to not get caught.
So, yes, sometimes, I’m not proud to be a Georgian.