23 May 2016

[tpc] - Thoughts about Politics in Newton County on this Election Eve

The Piedmont Chronicles 
23 May 2016 
~ est. 2010 ~
Greetings, fine readers. Hope everything is okay out there. As well as they can be. We've got this election on and all. Lord help us... 

I know I've been a bit quiet on TPC. I've been a bit more active, politically, on Facebook where I've put up posts for some of the folks I'm supporting. Guys like Stan Edwards, who's running for the 1st district of the Newton Co. Board of Commissioners. I've gotten to know Stan pretty well the last few months and I really like him and think he's exactly the type of person we need. Same with Travis Moore, 5th district candidate. I'm a big fan, and I think he would be a great addition to the Board as well. And also Shannon Sneed, GOP candidate for Probate Judge, who has, in my estimation, the right combination of experience and temperament to effectively serve in that important capacity.

I must admit that I've kind of lost my taste for politics the past couple of months as things have unfolded in the way that they have. Politics is a mean and nasty business, and I've always known that, but I suppose I was honestly surprised at just how crazy, intense, backwards and sideways things got. You can have people in total agreement on one candidate, but then ready to go to fisticuffs on another one.  I've seen three people, from different sides of the political spectrum and at different sides of the perceived power structure, that I consider friends - or at least acquaintances - get unfairly and falsely accused of all sorts of things. Things I won't go into here, but if you've been on Facebook, you've seen it. Those three: Phil Johnson, Levie Maddox, and Susette Monk. 
And that leads me to another recent development/dynamic in this ugly, dirty campaign season. The rise of anonymous pages spewing some major bile and, excuse my french, some major bullshit. The two main culprits are Newton County Watchdog and Newton County Guardians. Based on my judgement, the Guardians page is the more egregious violator as at least the Watchdog page has had some pretty decent content, while I disagreed on at least a few of the things they posted. There are theories as to who are behind these, and I've got my own. I've even had a couple of folks asked if I was involved with either one. I guess those people didn't know me as well as I thought they did. Whatever. It's been wicked and nasty. And that's too bad. 

And then there's the Tommy Craig factor. Just like many others, I would have to figure that he is neck-deep in several of these races. Is he involved with some of this other stuff? Maybe. But you know what? I don't think it matters. I've been called the eternal optimist before, but I just have a strong feeling that things are going to work out for us here in Newton County. And while the "Alliance," "Coalition," or the proverbial "Newton County 12" or whatever you want to call it has seemingly been somewhat fractured, I feel confident that things will get back into balance and there will be a united front once again. Because we all saw how amazing that was and how much it accomplished. I feel very confident in that.

Then there's the old-guard factor, or, the establishment factor, if you will. Well, there's not much to that. They - folks like Mort Ewing, The Flemings, Hubert White, and more - are upfront about it. You can just look at their yard signs. They like Aaron Varner for Chair, that's for sure. Mort and the rest of the usual suspects out in the eastern part of the county are supporting Bradley for BOC 1. And it seems as if a lot of the estab. types prefer Ronnie Cowan for BOC 5 and Melanie Bell for Probate Judge. The complete opposite of what a lot of folks - yours truly included - are supporting.

And that leads us to BOC Chair and the 3rd district.

- Regarding the Chairman position, a lot of you know how much hell I've given Levie, or Valet Levie, as I've called him a few times. Well, I'll tell you this. I'm pulling a GOP ticket tomorrow and I will indeed be voting for Levie. Crazy, I know. But as far as I can figure, he did free himself from the Establishment and/or Craig faction, and I feel like he's the better pick. And if I was pulling a Dem ticket, I'd definitely have to vote for Phil.

- The 3rd. I've mentioned this on Facebook, and I'll mention it here - I've known Susette a long time and consider her a friend, and I'm positive she's not a part of some Machiavellian ploy on behalf of the forces of old and evil. I think she's gotten a pretty bad rap and I think it's been tough on her. And I hate it for her. A lot of folks I know are firmly in support of Nancy Schulz and I understand that. Nancy's done some good things for the county and has been an integral piece of the puzzle in getting things somewhat fixed in the past year. But I will say this. She always talked a good talk but seemed short on the walk part for a pretty long time. Just like in January of last year, she gave a great speech, and then she proceeded to vote with the other four members of the board to renew Tommy Craig's contract. But perhaps she's learned a lesson from that. I hope so. 

And a final thought. And it's one I always have to remember. Politics is, after all, a human institution. And as such, it will always have its shortcomings, disappointments and failings. It's an imperfect thing because we are imperfect beings. But for many of us, we continue to strive. For that more perfect Union. To do the right things, and to do things right. And to try to make the world a better place. And that's a beautiful thing.

Well...didn't mean to write a book there or anything, but I had a lot to cover. That's my 2 cents, for whatever its worth.

As always, thanks for reading.

'Till next time.  

-Marshall McCart