Most references to the famous paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 1:9 are tinged with cynicism, and so it was when this Monday Night Football fan endured the mass pile-on against the replacement refs after the particularly atrocious ending of the Packers-Seahawks game a few weeks ago, only to find that during the weekends of the return of the magnificent labor union refs, there continued to be human error.
And so it was when we first heard the rumblings of the formation of the new City of Brookhaven in DeKalb County, Georgia. But, wait a minute, there are many old things under the sun that make life worth the living, and one of those is encapsulated in this columnist’s slogan, provided by famous Sandlapper and former President of the United States, Old Hickory himself, Andrew Jackson, who said:
“One man with courage makes a majority.”
After all, the United States exists. So does Iran. Both are old under the sun. See any mass migration from the Fruited Plain to the land of Mullahs where freedom-seeking teens are mowed down in the streets? Didn’t think so.
Well run counties and cites also exist under the sun. Not sure we see any of the former looking west from our Stone Mountain roost, but as to the latter, Decatur doesn’t seem to suck; and if the voters of Brookhaven choose courageous men and women to represent them with impartiality, character and competence, there is no reason that it can’t be the next old good city under the Georgia sun.
We have often referred to legislators in Washington, D.C. as “mere yea/nay voters” for whom character doesn’t matter that much since they vote yes or no on written bills. They can be judged by the wisdom of their vote. Of course, this is somewhat of an exaggeration given the process of the drafting of bills in conjunction with lobbyists. But in general, we vote the party and not the man when it comes to the federal government.
Not so closer to home. Character matters much more on the state and local level. After all, it is cities, counties and states that do the zoning. It is mayors and council members that are more ideally situated to be offered bribes for favors that government must hand out before a free market can exert its justice.
We vote the man and the woman close to home and stand ready to replace any old thing under the City of Brookhaven or DeKalb County sun that doesn’t provide good government. We didn’t favor the creation of the new city, but well understand the disgust with county government that led to it. Now, it is time to exercise self government via majorities at the ballot box on Election Day. Choose those candidates with courage.
[Originally published in Atlanta Times News on October 6, 2012.]
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
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Atlanta Law & Politics columnist – Examiner.com