I’ve probably had enough of transparency and accountability.
Look, I get it. I know the liberals want to be in charge of the county. I know they won’t rest until it’s them actually sitting in those seats, them making those marginal calls from imperfect information, and their decisions revealed in 20/20 hindsight to have been insufficiently prescient. I know they feel a deep need to micro-manage and second guess every decision the commissioners might consider making. I get the subtext of their vigilance – that the current commissioners are incompetent and that only a liberal, green, populist, anti-growth, country-in-county approach will do for us. We all know these agendas won’t ever directly sway the greater demographic of unwashed Republican voters in Elbert County. And I understand the activists will find a way by any means possible to insert themselves into our governance because they believe without question in their agendas, and their entire world view hangs in the balance of these matters.
The cast of characters on the BOCC morning show last week included Richard Miller, Robert Rowland, Jill Duvall, Rick Blotter, Belinda Seville, plus two commissioners. They were all too comfortable in the process to not be typical.
Apparently when the commissioners serve the planner/liberal/green agenda, everyone is convivial, full of mutual admiration, even a bit smug about how correct things are. But oh, when the agenda is in doubt, or when the commissioners might actually make a move counter to the agenda, it’s Katy bar the door and we’d better book the Exhibit Hall at the fairgrounds because it’s time for a demonstration.
What do you call this sort of government? Representative democracy doesn’t quite fit because the cast of characters constantly nipping at the heels of the commissioners don’t represent any majorities. They’re all about their various agendas. And republican statesmanship doesn’t fit either because the leadership panders to whomever shows up, and it’s the planner/liberal/greens who always occupy that field. This is government by the threat of force upon the governors, something way beyond the consent of the governed.
The left have taken elements from the Constitution designed to protect and enforce the people’s consent to be governed, and turned those protections into a license to issue threats, extort money from the public treasury, and force their minority agendas upon the majority. The constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech was not intended as a cover for subversion, threats, and bad faith.
Despite what most of these participants and would-be “we-the-people” leaders will tell you, the people don’t really enter into the process of county governance. The people are unintended beneficiaries who bring two interests relevant to the process: 1) The degree to which their property can be made to serve one of the planner/liberal/green agendas, and 2) The degree to which they can be mined for tax revenue.
That makes us like the wild boar at a luau — dinner. The transparency and accountability imposed upon the BOCC have done little to improve the people’s prospects under county governance. Seeing how we get stuffed into these sausages of government each week does not improve the taste when it’s still us on the plate.
Protecting the people’s interests under county governance — that is, the interests of the majority of people who don’t have time to hang out at BOCC morning shows and zoner meetings — has yet to be addressed in this election cycle.
Although no commissioner candidates seem much concerned about those interests, as Republicans it would be encouraging to hear something from them about limiting government, shrinking the legal domain of zoning, lowering taxes, lowering spending, increasing freedom, enlarging liberty, and allowing the free market to work to create a vibrant local economy.
Newcomers to Elbert County might wonder about having to enumerate basic Republican concepts to an all Republican field of candidates. I do too.