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The Village Idiot

Why I canít be Mayor

Jack Deatherage, Jr.

"Gods watch from above and wonder what went wrong

The entropy of what once was strong

The survivors of man stay up late to pray

That the world will again be theirs one day"

-Abney Park: The End Of Days

(4/2017) While I meet the low requirements to be mayor of this place, something other than my absolute incompetence would keep me out of the office- the oath of office.

I swear a lot, but I no longer take oaths that bind my actions to some others' will. Swearing to uphold the constitutions of the country and state is simply a nonstarter. I've read neither constitution and haven't the intellect to understand either. I'd be flat out lying if I took the oath. While political oath takers swear to uphold the laws of our land, most of them (in my never humble opinion) set out to break them as quickly as they can. They will bully, connive, coerce, castigate, manipulate, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, lie- Hell, the thesaurus hasn't enough words for what they do once acquiring power. Though I'm not above doing all of that, I'd not have to behave that way as my goal as mayor wouldn't require any of it.

Nope. I'd have one agenda- create my education program. And, as I don't need to be mayor to do that, there is no reason for me to be mayor. Still, being mayor would probably give me the only opportunity to create the program, but I'm getting old and other than for my own amusement, bettering this place is not of great importance to me.

Having endured a town meeting, a county commissioners' meeting, as well as a library board meeting, and several Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, I know damned well nothing I suggest will ever come to fruition. The fawning and drooling over schemes to acquire other peoples' money (grants from county, state and federal agencies) is nauseating to one who views governments as the problem more than the solution. If half the effort spent on stealing from other people was spent on actually coming up with ways to improve the general population's chances of bettering themselves I'd jump on board with my few resources and probably kill myself in the effort to make this a better place to live. But that isn't what I see and hear happening at any of the meetings I've attended.

During one CAC meeting I managed to persevere through an entire presentation on how some state program can bring new businesses to this burg while building a sense of community that currently does not exist. I walked out of that meeting thinking the whole program was another government we have to do something waste of other peoples' money. (Why is it always someone else's money that will save us?)

I did hear a coupla things that, while not surprising, were at least interesting. One, was returning our main street to what it had been before the county turned the town into a stockyard of "down the road" workers. For those who do not remember that Emmitsburg; there were numerous little shops along Main Street and Seton Avenue where the shop owners lived in apartments above their shops or within walking distance of them. (I looked into opening such a shop back in the 1990s when I had the contacts, the suppliers, the money to start up and the ambition to take a shot at such an adventure. The then town government killed that dream and sent me away with a deeply seated disgust for local government. I should note the then county government encouraged me to open the shop, in Thurmont, which I did not.)

You need to attract the Millennials. They are the future and they have money to spend, was the next idea that caught my attention. "Duh" was my first thought. I closed my eyes to take a nap. Not only do these people not understand what they are up against, they honestly believe that government can fix what little they see as being wrong. That government has caused much of the ills that engulf this place seems to escape them completely.

My thoughts on setting up small businesses kids would own and keep the profits from have been met with, "That's illegal. There are child labor laws."

My response, "The people you claim to want to help are breaking the laws every damned day" was countered with, "We can't break the law to fix the problem."

Which prompted an exasperated "They don't care about the laws that have them trapped where they are. Why the hell should you?"

Obviously we're not on the same plane of reality.

I've had admitted murderers, thieves, drug users and dealers at my table and they broke bread with me. I've trusted some of them with my life and the lives of DW and our kidlet. I can't think of a single elected official in any of our several governments I'd invite into my home let alone break bread with. Nor would I leave anything of value in their care; not my family, friends, possessions or ideas.

How I can trust murderers, but not those elected to govern and protect me and mine?

Oddly, I wouldn't hesitate to ask those murderers, thieves and dopers (who've seen a world closer to the truth than most of the pols I've met) for help in establishing the education program I have batting about in my head. I know each of those less than upstanding citizens understands the what and why of my thinking while I've yet to meet a pol who has a freaking clue. (sigh)

It has also been brought to my attention that mayors gather for some sort of confab, most likely on the taxpayers' dime, to yammer on about how to beg for the return of moneys stolen from their citizens by the counties and state. I'm simply not up to begging crumbs from those who've taken things from me against my will. Not that I'm particularly righteous, but that's where my line is drawn until I've been beaten down to where I have no other legal recourse.

My disgust, disdain, disillusionment and distrust of the elect aside, two people give me hope. One is a fellow I know through the Internet who recently came to the factory to explain what he hoped to do with the equipment we are selling off. He and a band of like minded rebels have joined together to create black market businesses that serve the low end communities around their small city. One or two of the legal businesses provide cover for the illegal ones. Illegal in that the city, county and state are unaware of them providing low cost repairs on cars and electronics (among other things) for people who simply can't afford to deal with heavily taxed and regulated legal service businesses.

The other is MomD who summed up "Jack as mayor" succinctly. "I hope someone qualified runs for mayor and you lose."

So do I Mom, but only because I'd not be allowed to lop off heads.

Read other articles by Jack Deatherage, Jr.