Over the years, even amid positive progress and development, our local government’s mode of operation has been mainly counterproductive. We have, over the years, consistently worked against ourselves in the community, in our churches and in our hearts.
Interestingly, Augusta seems to trudge along in spite of ourselves. Look at our roads, our schools and our downtrodden neighborhoods. Look at our inner conflicts. Look at a government that has grown and remained inflated since consolidation.
SPECIAL-INTEREST groups seem to have figured out exactly what they can get away with their hidden agendas and back-scratching. They know that when misdeeds are exposed, the general public is largely less than concerned. In fact, the only time that citizens are fired up about something is when they seem directly offended by some proposal or policy that makes it easy to jump on a bandwagon.
An example of this is the “Save the A” campaign, and the fight to include Augusta’s name on Georgia Regents University entrance signs. Forget that garbage pickup has been reduced to once per week, yet with the same fees. Forget that a lot of our roads are outdated, and the recent ice storm proved that we need to undertake better major emergency preparatory steps. Forget that our youth are being eaten up in the streets – eaten up by drugs, prescription drugs, violence and even lack of hope or self-esteem. Forget the numerous homeless citizens strewn about our city who are stuck in a cycle of drug and/or alcohol dependency.
Though all of us are directly responsible for our own decisions, it is incumbent on us to pull up our fellow citizens out of the pits of despair and try to give them hope and new opportunities.
Then, we have community leaders by the hundreds, leading the people – somewhere? Well, they are somewhere out there, just leading the blind and ignorant ones who seem to need extra guidance and instruction (particularly around election time). There are too many good citizens in our community who give probably too much credence to so-called community leaders who often jump on the bandwagon of the status quo, especially politically. By virtue of their leadership positions, these leaders steer the masses towards the “next leader” who, more than likely, has no real plan that he or she can implement, or has no intentions on implementing, but guess what: It sounds good. Look around our community and witness the real results of all of this “great” leadership.
ONE DAY, WE AS A society are going to have to leave the comforts of the offices, church pews, pulpits and man-caves, and be forced to deal with the difficult issues we have collectively neglected over the years. Wouldn’t it be great if negligent or hateful parents were the only ones who had to deal with their belligerent, arrogant or self-absorbed children? That same teenager who is led to believe that he or she is somehow better than other teenagers, is headed not only for a life of passed-down cultural ignorance, but also a rude awakening as they one day face their own demons and shortcuts.
Let’s stop allowing ourselves to be subjected to wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are doubled-tongued devils who are blinded by their own arrogance and self-gain, and who sell themselves out to special-interest groups, time and time again.
Let us begin the process of moving toward a better day. Let’s develop a higher sense of unity and equal opportunity. Let us establish a new network of access for the common man, and a new and practical learning standard within our schools. No doubt, we can see victory together!
(The writer, a former Marine, is self-employed. He lives in Augusta.)