The Madison County Journal
September 12, 2001
Politics, Georgia style - Part II
Last week I wrote about George Washington's warning to us concerning
the abusive nature of political parties. Let me tell you more
about just how massive that abuse has become.
The two major parties have taken total political control of our
state and nation. Here in Georgia, the Democrats have a narrow
lead. Currently, they are engaged in an all-out effort to keep
control at any cost.
Unfortunately for us, they are paying the cost with our money!
Whether we want to or not, you and I are paying the bills that
allow the major parties to control our lives. For example, every
day that the Georgia legislature is in special session to "reapportion"
the state we pay the bills. The charge runs to thousands of dollars
Why is it taking so long? The controlling Democrats are twisting
and turning the Georgia map every way they can to gain an advantage
over the Republicans. They do not care if they rip communities
apart. They do not care that they are creating a system that
pits race against race, urban against rural, North against South.
Nothing matters to them but keeping their own petty kingdoms
The districts being drawn will cost us in other ways. Any person
seeking election in Georgia will find campaigning far more expensive.
With stretched-out districts that ramble from one side of the
state to another, candidates will be forced to purchase advertising
in multiple markets. They will have to travel long distances
simply to stay in contact with their constituents. We will have
inferior representation at a much greater cost.
Don't forget that the State of Georgia finances primary elections
for the major parties. You and I pay millions of dollars so that
the two major parties can select their candidates for the general
election. That constitutes vast payments of taxpayers' money
to private political organizations.
Then, having forced us to pay for the major parties' primaries,
they deny us the right to run independent or third-party candidates.
By requiring anyone other than Democrats or Republicans to obtain
absurd numbers of petitions in order to get on the ballot, they
protect the political power brokers from any serious outside
The political system in Georgia today constitutes out-and-out
The politicians take our money to finance their partisan squabbles.
They seize the election process and keep all but their own off
They take away our right to form a government of the people,
by the people, for the people. In its place, they have created
a government of the politicians, by the politicians, for the
politicians. As far as they are concerned, we the people are
a hindrance to be swept aside.
This week I have described for you the kind of political system
we now have in Georgia. Next week, I will describe the system
we should have.
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 12, 2001
The awful aftermath
We share a collective fury as a nation. Now begins the hunt for
the culprits and the fight to conquer the seeming helplessness
we feel in light of such a great tragedy.
One thing many have mentioned is donating blood. Even if there
is sufficient blood for those injured Tuesday, a potential positive
from this horror is building the nation's blood supply to an
We have listings of potential blood donor sites on the front
Of course the physical and emotional wounds may never be mended
for those who suffer directly from these acts. Numerous families
will never be the same.
The nation, too, will be different.
In essence, we've had our comfort ripped from us like a pillow
taken from a sleeper. We are awake, alarmed and confused.
This is, by far, the most significant event of this new century
and the most notable happening in at least a generation. It will
be remembered at the close of this century. Hopefully, people
100 years from now will say the 2001 horror was an aberration,
not an event ushering in a new era of wide-scale terror.
But the possibility of assaults on a grand scale is certainly
real. We hear of more and more nations with nuclear capabilities
and the threat of biological terrorism.
We are a hated nation in some corners of this world, as evidenced
by the awful jubilation in Palestine.
The effects of this terrible Tuesday will extend for years in
our foreign policy dealings and domestic safety procedures.
We will certainly snap out of a longtime complaceny over national
defense. Expect the current debate over implementing a Star Wars
defense system to pick up. Some will push harder for this now.
Skeptics will insist more vehemently that combating terrorists
with a portable nuclear or biological arsenal won't be possible
with a Star Wars system. Perhaps finding methods to detect potential
domestic terrorists will prove more popular than missile defense.
Obviously, we can also expect going to an airport or a high-profile
building to become less convenient as more safety measures are
And as the horror of this attack begins to wear off, many will
curse the increased safety measures as some convenience is sacrificed.
But people should keep the broad perspective at those times,
remembering why those extra safety precautions are taken.
Still, what really comes next can only be a guess.
And personally, it's hard to deal with this shock, to carry out
regular job duties amid such chaos. Writing sports stories seemed
so trivial to me Tuesday as more and more horrific reports reached
our office. I questioned whether my Dad was scheduled to be on
a plane and was relieved when he called.
The references to Pearl Harbor are frequent today and probably
appropriate. Dec. 7, 1941, was a day that will live in infamy.
And from now on, Sept. 11, 2001, will share that billing.
Let us get those who did this.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.