The Madison County Journal
September 5, 2001
Washington predicted future events
George Washington was many things. He was our first president.
He was a soldier, a farmer, a statesman, and one of the founders
of our nation.
But he was more than that. George Washington was clairvoyant.
He could, and did, predict future events.
Among the many predictions Washington made that have come true
are the partisan political shenanigans now taking place in Georgia
and other states. In his farewell address, Washington warned
us not to become involved in political parties. When we put party
above the people, we re-create a dictatorship of the kind he
led a war to end.
The American Revolution was intended to establish government
of the people, by the people, for the people. The U.S. Constitution
was designed to guarantee just such a government. But during
Washington's eight years as president, partisan politics was
already shoving the people out of the picture. When he left office,
after refusing to be crowned king, he warned the nation of the
dangers of political parties.
Washington's words clearly and precisely describe the partisan
fiasco currently taking place in Georgia. Here is what he said
over 200 years ago:
"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in
the state, with particular reference to the founding of them
on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive
view and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful
effects in the spirit of party generally.
"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened
by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension...is its
self a frightening despotism. But this leads at length to a more
formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which
result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and
repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or
later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more
fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the
purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty."
Thus, George Washington predicted that partisan political wrangling
would produce the emergence of King Roy as dictator of the state
It is time for a new revolution. It is time that we the people
take back our government. If we are ever to regain our liberty,
we have to attack the current partisan party structure within
our state and force access of independent candidates to the ballot.
How can we do that? I will make a suggestion next week.
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
September 5, 2001
Will 'the walk' bring back Georgia fan pride?
The relationship between Georgia and their fans has been much
like a troubled marriage - a lot of good times in the past, but
some stormy moments in the later years.
The once-strong bond has turned sour as a growing number fickle
and lethargic supporters has all but killed the pride that used
to reside between the hallowed hedges.
But Saturday, that old feeling came back again at least
temporarily with a simple gesture from the Bulldogs - a
As part of rookie coach Mark Richt's effort to embrace the pageantry
that once made Georgia great, Bulldog fans of all walks of life
lined up in droves outside the Tate Center to participate in
the revival of an old Georgia tradition - "the Dawg walk."
It was a scene that could have choked up even the most hardened
Georgia fan, an outpouring of support not seen in ages in Athens.
Eighty-five poised Bulldog warriors parted a 200-yard sea of
boisterous red and black clad supporters giving high fives and
slapping backs as the team made their way from the bus to Sanford
Stadium before their 45-17 win over Arkansas State.
The show of devotion touched many, including the usually stoic
"It got a little emotional for me," the coach told
the Athens-Banner Herald. "I tried to hide it, but I got
a little choked up."
Good. A little emotion is just what the doctor ordered for the
Personally, I hadn't felt that kind of emotion since I walked
to my seat in Sanford Stadium in 1989, my first sight of the
gargantuan home of the Dawgs. Looking back, I think it was at
that moment (fifth grade surprisingly) that I made my decision
about where I would attend college.
But ever since then, my notion that Sanford Stadium was a sanctuary
for devoted fans has deteriorated.
I don't know if it has been a lack of championships or wins over
Florida and Tennessee, but Bulldog crowds have been on life support
in the past few years. Too often players try in vain to pump
the calm red sea up but merely get a ripple for their efforts.
In fact, at times the only sound you hear at the Stadium is the
constant buzz of the airplane overhead carrying advertising banners.
To put it bluntly, fan apathy has been downright embarrassing.
The worst instance I can recall was last year's Georgia Tech
game where most of the "loyal" Bulldog contingent were
making their way to their cars because Georgia was down 27-3
at the half - nevermind the fact that this is the team that overcame
a 25-0 deficit in the Outback Bowl against Purdue in 1999.
I've often said that Georgia fans rank right down with those
of Vanderbilt and Kentucky. The only difference is that those
two schools have a reason to have uninspired fans; they don't
It's a shame that the program that places 11tth in all time wins
gets little more than a whimper out of those who support them.
But Saturday provided a glimmer of hope.
Maybe the little pregame pow-wow can spark a revival the anemic
Dog fans. Maybe seeing the team walk in as they prepare to do
battle - to see the gladiators up close and personal before they
suit up-will light a spark in the collectively silent Bulldog
If Mark Richt is to turn things around, he and his team need
a home field advantage. I firmly believe that LSU and Tennessee
fans give their team a touchdown per home game solely because
of the deafening noise they bring to the stadium. Sanford Stadium
might as well be a neutral sight.
But if first impressions meaning anything, Dog fans have endeared
themselves to Richt.
"I don't want to get too emotional before a game,"
Richt said of the Bulldog fans' pregame support. "But it
Hopefully the good vibes will continue for Richt as well as the
Ben Munro is a reporter for Mainstreet Newspapers and a 1997
graduate of Madison County High School.