The Madison County Journal
October 4, 2000
No vote is ever wasted
No vote is ever wasted. I say that in response to those who refuse
to vote for third-party candidates because they "have no
chance to win."
The purpose of any election is for "We the People"
to express our opinions.
If the system works correctly, the eventual winner of any political
race will have to take into consideration all ideas and beliefs
that receive support in the election. For example, much of the
talk, and it is just talk at this time, of campaign reform by
the two major candidates resulted from the third-party efforts
of the original Reform Party.
The current race represents a clear opportunity for the public
to speak out by supporting third-party candidates. The two major
parties have little to separate them. They differ only in a matter
The Democrats are, as usual, for big government and big spending,
with just enough control to prevent another round of massive
federal debt. The Republicans speak out for the same programs
with slightly less spending.
In either case, we get the same kind of bureaucratic boondoggles
we have now. If you are satisfied with government as it now exists,
either Bush or Gore will keep it going.
If you are unhappy with our current government, you can say so
by supporting one of the third-party candidates.
Georgia voters were denied the opportunity to see the full slate
of Presidential candidates by restrictive ballot access rules.
In Georgia, it is harder to get your name on the ballot than
in any other state and most former Soviet nations. Two of the
smaller parties managed to get on the ballot, and a third qualified
their candidate for write-in votes.
Pat Buchannan, representing what is left of the Reform Party,
is on the ballot. For those of you who think the government's
efforts to increase international trade are damaging our local
economy and allowing all the good jobs to move to other nations,
a vote for Buchannan will best reflect your beliefs.
Harry Browne is the nominee of the only third party to gain access
on all 50 state ballots. His Libertarian Party supports massive
reductions in the power, scope and influence of our federal government.
If you believe the federal government ought to get out of welfare,
education and law enforcement, then the Libertarians are for
The Green Party failed to gain ballot status and qualify their
candidate, Ralph Nader, as a write-in candidate in Georgia. Nader
and the Greens believe that international corporations are running
roughshod over the workers, the economy and the environment.
If you agree that government needs to place greater restrictions
on big business, write in Ralph Nader on Nov. 7. None of the
other minor parties were able to get on the ballot in Georgia.
If your favorite is not on this list, you should confront candidates
for the Georgia House and Senate demanding that they support
ballot reform in Georgia so that the voters will have more choices
As I said, no vote is ever wasted. Buchannan, Browne and Nader
were all candidates in the last presidential election. In each
case, if they gain substantially more votes this time than in
1996, it will show the major parties that their ideas have growing
support and should be given serious consideration. If their support
is falling, then it is clear that their ideas have been rejected
by the people.
If you find the platform of one of the major candidates is nearest
to your beliefs, vote for that candidate. If you support the
ideas of a third party candidate, do not hesitate to support
that campaign. We are a nation of law, not of personalities.
When you vote, you are expressing your opinions, not taking part
in a beauty contest. When you vote your true belief, your vote
is as important as any cast for the eventual winner.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address
The Madison County Journal
October 4, 2000
In Other Words
'Remember the Titans'
offers a deeper side
Leaving the theater Sunday, the gridiron was calling my name.
Adrenaline was pumping and wild thoughts of football glory raced
through my head while I contemplated the sports story I had just
seen unfold on the big screen - "Remember the Titans."
"Why didn't I play high school football?!" I asked
Well, maybe because I was a mere 5'8" and 130 pounds at
MCHS and had no athletic ability.
After a football practice, I would have probably more resembled
Hwy. 72 road-kill than a football player. So after I calmed down,
I reflected more deeply on the movie I had seen.
If you never played football, "Remember the Titans"
will make you temporarily kick yourself for the wasted opportunities
in your four high school golden years. But the football flick
digs beyond hits, runs, passes and the glory of winning - it
digs to the heart of the game.
It tells of the bonds formed with others you go to battle with
and lay everything on the line with - those you share the blood,
sweat and tears with; the enemies who are turned into friends.
The story takes place in the racially turbulent early 1970s in
Virginia during the integration of schools. Denzel Washington
plays a black coach who is appointed to the head coaching position
at a newly integrated high school, bumping the school's successful
white coach out of a job.
The faction lines are quickly drawn among the community and team.
Washington is left with the task of keeping the black and white
players from killing each other while also attempting to mold
them into a skilled football unit in a social setting just waiting
But that's where the masterpiece of the movie starts, showing
the racially divided team and coaching staff come together over
the love of a game while the outside world is immersed in turmoil.
And this illustrates what is pure about athletic competition.
Football is a violent game that young men from an assortment
of backgrounds play. From what I've seen, you put your safety
in another's hands and a bond grows from this. If your blocker
doesn't pick up his block, some defensive end is going to put
his helmet through your chest and laugh at you while you wallow
And after trading shots with teammates in the trenches and beating
each other black and blue in practice, a respect soon grows.
One realizes that each is sacrificing for the ultimate prize
And you begin to see yourself as a part of a family of sorts.
And winning knows no color - one of the underlying messages conveyed
in the movie.
I see this all the time when I watch sports, especially football.
Guys who wouldn't usually associate with each other, from totally
different backgrounds, battling side-by-side in athletic wars
for the pride of the colors they wear on their uniforms, not
the color of their skin.
Football knocked down the racial barrier at that Virginia high
school in the movie and became the racial bridge as it has everywhere.
Amid all the current howling over discrimination and problems
with race relations from various groups, I believe something
like this gets lost.
So what would a person like Jesse Jackson who is constantly bringing
up negativity in black-white relations say to this? He would
have nothing to say, because he feeds off complaining, always
preaching something is wrong.
It's good to see something come along that helps us to remember
what is right.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.