Confehr: Registration ends Oct. 4; L'burg votes next spring

Friday, September 24, 2010

Miss Ann was the mayor of the county seat where I worked during three years at a five-day-a-week newspaper in what's seen as the northeast, but where there's a statue of Johnny Reb on the Courthouse Lawn.

Some people thought she was, or was going blind and/or deaf, but most working closely with her knew that she had selective hearing and spoke of what she wanted to see. She was also perceived as the individual, through her real estate business, as the biggest landowner in the county. It was probably true if you considered the decades she'd been at work in her profession.

One of her favorite saying was, "People get the government they deserve."

Those couldn't have been her own words, originally, and she didn't repeat them too often. She was mayor for a long time.

Now, here in Lewisburg there's been some criticism of the current city council.

There have been split votes, although that does reflect some individualistic thought, as opposed to a monotheist approach prompting criticism of other governments where an ungodly puppeteer is suspected of pulling strings from behind a curtain.

Systems of government were compared recently when a local panel awaited the arrival of a member whose arrival was imminent. As they waited, the time was filled with pointed remarks.

A pending water rate hike was the topic.

Democracy is the worst form of government, one person said. That's because "in situations like this, the government is run by the ignorant."

It could happen. People could be elected and not know about all the complexities of how the systems work, be they political or scientific. However, those with native intelligence and an awareness of how education is critical, could gain insight from their own research, collection of information, and reach a logical conclusion.

Another comment from the pre-meeting conversation: Machiavelli, the Italian political thinker, who denied the relevance of morality in politics, and saw deceit as a means that justifies the end of holding power, "also wrote from the King's dungeon that he favored the system of monarchy."

Several things need to be said: Lewisburg is going to have an election in May. If you aren't registered to vote, you can't vote and you probably don't deserve to complain. If you are so dismayed with how things are being done, maybe you ought to run for office, or get behind someone who shares your views.

Meanwhile, there's another election in early November. Voter registration for it ends on Oct. 4.

Now, there are a lot of disgruntled people across America. Unemployment is high. Wages are generally stagnant. People blame incumbents.

Some of the people running for office -- who are the most strident with talking points that sound like leadership -- will get elected and become like the dog that caught the car. They will be fooled by professional Machiavellians. They might be marginalized by redistricting when the census numbers are applied to district lines.

People don't deserve that, but they might get it.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.