Thursday, August 5, 2010

It’s 7:00 AM in Jackson. I drive down Third Street on my way back home after a good, early morning workout at Jake Hiett’s Fitness USA gym on Covington Street. I see a few like-minded people---there is a tall, older white man in jogging shorts and a tee shirt, walking briskly down the sidewalk near the CVS. As I approach the Piggly Wiggly an older black woman is also walking briskly, listening to music on some kind of portable device. At least we middle aged to older folks know that a good walk gets the blood pumping and makes us ready for the day ahead. Oh, the young ones will find out soon enough….
There are also others walking around—lost souls, burned out from too much booze or drugs the night before are slowly pacing the same sidewalks as the walkers getting their exercise. Opposite ends of the spectrum but still all part of the same community.
Even though it’s just seven in the morning there are already two cars being worked on at Chuck’s Tires, and a lot of people are coming in and out of the “Pig.” Jackson is busy early. It’s the same story in other small towns and cities---working people trying to make the rent. And trusting our leaders to lead us the way we deserve to be led.
Almost two years ago this country elected a president who had more promise and potential than any president in recent memory—maybe since the days of John F. Kennedy. He was preceded by a man who managed to almost overnight make this country the laughing stock of the world. Now our new president has a tremendous job to do making our country respectable again, but he has had to battle untold forces within his own country, a Republican party who seem lie with every breath and whose members seem determined to drag this country back to the stone age. He has handled his job fairly well, certainly much better than his predecessor, and while not perfect, has certainly done an admirable job of winding his way through the mess he was left to clean up. A house can be torn down in minutes but takes much longer to rebuild. So it goes with countries. These things take time, sometimes lots of it, and you have to spend money to do these things.
I read a lot of magazines and online newspapers and watch a lot of news reports. I see political leaders and hopefuls here in Georgia spouting silliness on television about how they will turn down any stimulus money headed for Georgia, or they will proudly exclaim that they will protect Georgians from the dreaded “Obamacare” and other programs designed to help the average American. In the next breath they will say that the economy here in Georgia hasn’t improved. You can’t have it both ways, folks. The federal government isn’t going to force feed its medicine to little Georgia, like a mother has to with a child’s cough syrup. If your leaders are shortsighted to the point of wanting to cut off YOUR nose to spite your face, it’s up to you to find leaders who have vision and who really want what is best for all of you. A governor who goes to Dubai looking to bring jobs to Georgia (and only manages to secure up to 300 high-paying jobs over the course of a ten year period) is really just looking for a nice vacation. Thirty jobs a year? C’mon, Sonny. Leave already.
Back in Jackson, a truck from Dave’s Corner Lot rolls by with a customer’s car in tow. Hard working people, dealing with the cards, or cars, they have been dealt. I hope for all our sakes we get a better hand soon…..

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