Madison County Opinion...

 August 23, 2000


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
August 23, 2000

Frankly Speaking

Time to de-annex Atlanta?
An interesting conversation has emerged on the Internet among traditional Southerners. A suggestion was made that Georgia de-annex Atlanta, declare that the city is no longer a part of Georgia and allow them to form their own state. Those proposing the move say that Atlanta is so far out of step with the rest of Georiga that both sides would be better off with the split.
It is my opinion that my friends who made this suggestion had their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. That is especially true when the discussion turned to the question of keeping the Varsity and Georgia Tech.
Another point of discussion was where to draw the border. Obviously, North Atlanta and Sandy Springs would stay with Georgia, and South DeKalb would be sent along with Atlanta.
This discussion was generated by news stories concerning Atlanta's refusal to fly the legal Georgia Flag and the current crop of revelations about corruption in city government. Another development that many Georgians find disturbing is the effort by Governor Roy Barnes to establish regional commissions that reduce the sovereignty of local governments surrounding Atlanta.
Two proposals that have emerged from the discussions are a non-binding petition that expresses Georgia's unhappiness with Atlanta's political actions and a proposal that the state capital be removed from Atlanta and returned to Milledgeville. One writer suggested that the capital be removed to "the smallest, most red neck town in Georgia."
I agree that some way needs to be found to let the current leadership in Atlanta know that the rest of the state strongly disapproves of their policies and practices. City officials are quick to agree with, and even lead, the attacks on Southern icons. They kowtow instantly to the bigoted demands of the SCLC and NAACP and support their efforts to blackmail Georgia into taking down our Southern flags, monuments and carvings (including the carving on Stone Mountain). They are making every effort to save the discriminatory affirmative action program even though it is the source of most of the corruption that has cost the city of Atlanta millions of dollars.
Kicking Atlanta out of Georgia will not solve the problem, even if we could do it. That would remove the few restraints state government now has over the city's abuses. I would like to see a bill introduced in the legislature that would suspend Atlanta's charter until they agree to changes that would correct the major abuses, including a requirement that they fly the legal flag of Georgia at all city buildings. I would like to see Sandy Springs receive the city charter they have been seeking for the last several years. I would like to see a major portion of the state's offices removed from Atlanta to a more central area where we can reach them without having to fight Atlanta's smog and traffic.
Finally, I would love to see a new statewide newspaper staffed by traditional Southerners that would present full, balanced and fair coverage of news, events and celebrations within Georgia.
We can't kick Atlanta out of Georgia, but we can pressure them into cleaning up their act.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Ben Munro
The Madison County Journal
August 23, 2000

In Other Words

As race heats up, Gore resorts to stupid antics
Sometimes I wonder whether if these presidental candidates want to run our nation or the local chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Just the other day, I opened the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to find an article about Al Gore embarking upon some sort of riverboat "party" campaign where he's supposedly drumming up support with the usual political song and dance act to show us "hey man, I'm a cool guy."
This is not surprising to me, as candidates attempt to be Mr. Cool when it comes time to getting your votes and the insincerity sickens me. Gore for years was the stoic tree-hugging, vice president of the White House while Bill Clinton frolicked about the Oval Office. So what has brought about this drastic change in behavior from Gore? It couldn't have anything to do with selling his soul to the latest polls, could it? Monday's AJC said that Gore's riverboat "party," which was on a 400-mile trek down the Mississippi River, pulled into dock with the sexually suggestive Rolling Stones tune "Brown Sugar" blaring from the campaign vessel.
Come on Al, for years you acted like a Barry Manilow fan. Why are you breaking out the classic rock now?
According to the article, "Fun Al," as it referred to him, has ditched the traditional suit and tie and suddenly developed a taste for denim. In addition to this, he has suddenly gotten frisky with his wife again, as he gave Tipper a long kiss in front everyone at the Democratic National Convention.
When asked if the "make-out session" was an attempt to give a signal to voters, Gore told reporters, "I was trying to send Tipper a signal."
OK there, ladies' man. Gore was trying to show voters he was a cool Romeo but still monogamous, unlike his predecessor.
But Gore was taught well by ol' Bill Clinton, who was a genius in conniving the public into thinking he's a cool guy. After all, it was Clinton who got up on stage at the Aresnio Hall show in 1992, slipped on a pair of shades and played the saxophone, capturing the MTV generation. Soon the battle cry of "we need younger faces and change in the White House" emerged and Clinton rode that wave for two elections. George Bush and Bob Dole were just too old for us. I mean, these guys were war heroes and all, but could they jam on stage?
I sincerely hope that George W. Bush knows how to play a mean electric guitar. It could come in handy in today's elections. If I was picking a candidate to host a party, I would by all means pick the fun, laid-back, Rolling Stones-listening party animal that Gore wants to be.
But for selecting a president, I want a seasoned veteran who has been around in the military and in politics and is secure enough in himself that he doesn't have to transform himself for everyone.
Gore is selling himself to this idea that we need some movie star type in the oval office, a ploy by Clinton that unfortunately worked twice.
According to the article, Gore said that during the campaign people would see "who I truly am." Well, it's more like "who you truly want me to be."
I can't wait to see where Al Gore's party accross the nation takes him next.
So Al, when are you hosting Saturday Night Live?
Ben Munro is a reporter for the Madison County Journal.

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