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On politicians versus public servants

By Dan Pool
    About two weeks ago a member of the Progress staff had an impromptu discussion at a convenience store. The reader suggested we needed a front page story every week about how “the government is %&*$ing us.”
    We receive some variation of this editorial request often – especially if you count the e-mail and social media messages.
    Anti-government rhetoric is at level not seen since some fellows dressed up as Indians and threw a load of tea in the ocean. You hear “revolution” used in political forums frequently.
    Yet, when you asked how “government is %&*$ing us,” you rarely get an exact answer.
    There are bunch of issues that have people stirred up -- immigrants, fears of firearm restrictions and a genuine hatred of the president.
    Much of the animosity goes deeper than differences of opinion, with a belief that  politicians in Washington, Atlanta and Pickens County are intentionally seeking to harm us. Locally this growing distrust could be spotted last week on social media. When the county commissioners decided to drop efforts to create a “special event ordinance,” several online comments didn’t commend them for being receptive to public opinion but speculated they were trying to sneak it into creation by another route.
    On the national and state level, it’s often hard to pinpoint what effect the government actually has on your daily life. When you go about your business this week is there something you must do differently or can’t do because of the government?
    Taxes have always been there and aren’t as high now as they have been at some points in our history; Obamacare has hit some individuals in their wallets but also helped some people get insurance who had never had it. While there is a lot of rhetoric about taking our guns, there are no efforts proposed in Georgia.
    One wonders if the government gets a lion’s share of the blame for the economy. Rightly or wrongly they are faulted for low pay and lack of job growth. Studies show that over the past decade, the very rich became super rich, while the lower and middle class stayed the same, which surely builds frustration. But it’s hard to pin this growing inequality on the government. And the idea that someone different in the White House would change this is farfetched.
    The government may also get faulted for nuts who go on killing sprees. Or take the heat from parents upset with their child’s school experience.
    I thought of the many anti-government comments last Thursday when I spent the morning at a joint meeting of newspaper folks and state legislators representing northwest Georgia. It included State Rep. Rick Jasperse, who represents Pickens County, and State Senator Charlie Bethel, who represents the western part of this county in his district, plus their fellow legislators who cover the northern corner of our state.
    I didn’t feel like anyone in the room was out to %&*$ us. Obviously in a room full of reporters, no one announced their agenda is to steal a bunch of money, get some free trips and find their cousin a cushy job.
    In fact I was impressed by the depth of the topics the state legislature will tackle this year.
    Just a few of the issues the northwest Georgia cadre has in their sights:
    • Legislation to make it harder for pills mills to dish out painkillers and other narcotics.
    • Looking at ways to help lower-income grandparents raise their grandkids when the parents are unable to. This may also benefit taxpayers by reducing dependence on foster care.
    • Looking at how to best fund the schools.
    • And to show these legislators are not afraid to buck the establishment, one had on his agenda looking at law enforcement’s ability to seize money and possessions.
    Consider also at the county, school board and state level, most of these people work part time for little pay (many of the local elected officials make about $50 per meeting and meet only once a month, yet take calls any time).
    Keep in mind there are politicians and then there are public servants. Make sure you can tell them apart.


Truly Saddened
0 #1 Truly Saddened 2016-01-19 14:20
A lot of what you hear isn't because of politicians, it's because of political party line thinking. The citizens of this country have lost touch with reality. There is a distinct division between the left and the right, The two party system is broken due to this way of thinking. In order to be considered good for your base you either have to swing extreme left or extreme right, there are no moderates or centrists in office anymore. It used to be that when a President was elected the runner up became vice president. Those days have left us and so has reason and sanity. Anyone who thinks otherwise is ridiculous. You don't play games with politics, you don't pick a side and stick with them no matter how bad they suck. You don't have to like policies, that's why we have elected representatives , yet or representatives no longer represent us, they represent special interest groups. They have big business spewing funds to oppose policies that will help all Americans just to spite the other party. We currently have a group in the house and senate that are bought and paid for career politicians that have sat in those chairs as much as 40 years and lost touch with the people. This is the United States Of America and now two party politics has turned it into the divided states. Not because of people and disagreements with policy, but because our representatives no longer represent us they represent their wallets.
Truly Saddened
0 #2 Truly Saddened 2016-01-20 15:29
I love how a non partisan real statement gets a dislike from someone.

If you are so blind that you had to dislike my telling it like it is. You probably haven't researched how many politicians on both sides of the isle would rather provide help to special interest groups than help real citizens. I'm not playing party line thinking here folks. This is the reality we face. Our politicians do not represent us. If they did they would not be worried about party line thinking, they would not be worried about their NRA rating, they would not be worried all the silly little letters in () at the end of a name. They would be worried about the people. None of which is evident by either party in this current day and age.

Dislike all you want. It just shows the rest of us you aren't paying attention.
scott higgins
+4 #3 scott higgins 2016-01-20 20:39
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, when a goverment gets to big and out of control it needs to be overthrown. Words from a very wise man. However that could never happen today? So all we as citizens have is the power to vote. We need to get out of the U. N. and stop spending our money overseas and take care of the people of America. Untill we elect people that understand that, and look at the American Peoples best interest, then to hell with all of them.

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