Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WRING OUT YE OLDE, BRING IN THE NEW


January 4, 2012

We’ve just teetered into an election year and folks are looking for something to end the gloom. We can make a start right here in Walton County by telling the Old Guard they don’t run the place any more.
A friend said many of us remain silent “as a way to protect ourselves”. Really? This isn’t Al Capone’s Chicago or Castro’s Cuba. There’s nothing to fear from the bully boys. They only seized power through the apathy of the rest of us. We never got involved, and now we must.
It’s time we told the politicians and their enablers who for so long have been telling us what to think that these days we think for ourselves. Theirs is an orchestrated attack on free speech. In particular, they take up the contrived Glenn Beck mantra and call anyone who’s educated and informed an “elitist”. Which is the word Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch turned into an ongoing jibe after he was shunned by the British establishment.
They’ll use threats and rudeness to silence opposition. They pretend they’re the only true Americans and anyone who disagrees with them is treasonous. Well, there are plenty of patriotic ideas to replace the worn-out catchprases propounded by Ye Olde Gang.
Sure, these guys still shriek about public education being “socialism” whereas it’s desperately needed. They invoke Nazis and Commies and damn pinko lefties and “looneys”, most of them quite unaware of exactly what it is they’re saying because all they did was hear it on Fox. Sniggering smugly behind these low information individuals are the sly old manipulators.
We’re supposed to be interested in a balanced budget and “the debt ceiling” instead of keeping our jobs? We should care more about hating homosexuals and Muslims and abortion doctors than about feeding our families?
Geddaway with all that stuff. It won’t wash any more. Walton County has grown and grown up. Many fresh opinions make short work of those tired old ditties that The Gang keep chanting.
Lower taxes! Less government! As though the struggling folks of Walton County gain from either one of these notions. We already have almost the lowest tax rate in the world unless you count volcanic Tristan Da Cunha with its population of 271.
If you earn the average Georgia salary of $25,098 you’re paying $2,626 Federal and with exemptions it’s a darn sight less. One in six Georgians lives below the poverty level and if you’ve lost your job you’re not being taxed anyway.
It’s the mega businesses that don’t want to pay the taxes but they’ve convinced some of us still working to fight for them. And less government? That just means less oversight and less ability to keep the greed of these giants in check.
So it’s time we were heard. It’s time we spoke up and challenged the lies and distortions we’re being fed. Time to seek information from all sources and decide our own future..
Sling out the slogans. It’s all just bumper sticker politics. .All that twaddle about what they claim “the American people” want when the only American people these real elitists give a hoot about is themselves and the corporations who pay them. We are the American people and we want fairness and justice. We want sunlight brought to bear on the shady backroom dealings that always end up favoring a few and depriving everyone else.
You don’t agree with these guys, therefore you’re un-American? Hogwash. But closing down a factory and then calling those you’ve instantly made jobless “lazy” is unfair, un-American, un-Christian and un-just-about-everything. And applauding the death of a cancer patient with no health insurance is downright inhuman.
They’ll attack anyone looking for the truth, even the Walton Tribune. Most interestingly, in a reader’s letter last February 9, local Republican chairman Roy Roberts sprang into action, heaping praise on the now-indicted Wingo family and their Angel Food Ministries. In response to an editorial seeking information on the Wingos, he lashed out with an insinuation of wrongdoing at this newspaper itself. Of course there was none.
We Americans enjoy freedom of religion as long as that religion is Christianity and no other. Last week, publisher Brian Arrington made the succinct point that if the NFL’s Tim Tebow were a Muslim his on-field religious displays would spark outrage. This prompted one reader to claim the “liberal media” was to blame.
I’m straining at the halo, really determined to remain mild-mannered St Freddy, turning the other cheek, and it’s difficult to do. When I appeal for civility the result is a certain geezer’s barrage of name-calling and insults. But that’s to be expected: feeling their hold on Walton County slipping away, Yesterday’s Men lash out.
As we all know, the Tea Party is run by huge corporations (Koch Industries, Mellon Scaife) but one of its earliest ideas before Big Money took it over is still a sound one: get rid of all incumbents! Vote ‘em all out of office, Republicans and Democrats alike. They’re all on the take anyway, except maybe a handful. Last month a Pew poll revealed 67 percent of Americans would not re-elect their current representatives and Gallup had it at 76 percent.
America wants to kick the bums out. We should too, we Walton folk. What have we got to lose? So what if the replacements are just as scurrilous! We’ll remember to give them the boot next time.

ENDIT

© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.