The new government religion: Regionalism

Cal Beverly's picture

Remember these two principles of folks with a conservative or libertarian world-view? “That government is best which governs least.” And “local government is the most representative because it is closest to the people it governs.”

And let’s throw in a third principle enunciated by the late Democrat Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill (a liberal, back before that word was replaced by “progressive”): “All politics is local.”

And we the people shout, “Hurrah!” Right? Because most of us ordinary folks of conservative and libertarian persuasion hold those truths to be self-evident and basic to our whole compact of governance in the U.S. of A.

Let me tell you a dirty little secret: A whole lot of folks we elect to public office, from city council to state legislature on up to governor and the U.S. Congress not only don’t buy into those positions anymore but actively seek to nullify them.

To many in “leadership” positions — including heads of chambers of commerce — the notion of “localism” is not only quaintly provincial and redolent of the unenlightened past but also is an actual impediment to “getting things done” and “progress.”

What follows is a parable, only a parable.

Welcome to the new world of enlightened leaders, defined as those elite intellectuals who look beyond their petty electoral borders — like county lines and city limits (and their voting constituents) — to the broad, cosmopolitan uplands of regionalism.

If these locally elected but regionally oriented leaders are the bishops and archbishops of the Church of the Region, then the Atlanta Regional Commission is the Vatican bureaucracy and one-time Democrat and late in life convert to the Republican Party Governor Nathan Deal is its newest pope.

These bishops and archbishops are nothing if not ambitious. They aspire to advance into the elite College of Cardinals, the 21-member Regional Transportation Roundtable. That’s where the big bucks and the real power lies.

So what does the Church of the Region (COTR) require of us unenlightened taxpayers, the laity that must be handled and propagandized and “educated” so that we get just a glimpse of that celestial light that is already seen so clearly by the clergy (those we thought we elected and were the bosses of)?

Just another penny’s worth of indulgences out of our flea-bitten pockets on top of the already pinching 6 cents that we currently offer at the altar of “representative” government.

But, hey! That penny of extra sales tax will result in the salvation of our (transportation) souls. The Vatican’s Chamber choirs will burst into rapturous songs of vehicular deliverance.

No matter that the indulgences will be spent on sacred trains and buses that will never be filled and that will require ever more added indulgences from here to eternity just to keep the unions happy and the empty trains running.

Our local Archbishop of Fayetteville, Ken Steele, has worked hard if covertly to funnel our Fayette dollars northward to Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett counties, and a Cardinal’s reward likely awaits him if he can deliver this ignorant bunch of lukewarm Fayette Republicans and their extra tax dollars into the Church of the Region’s offering plate.

The COTR knows who really loves it, and the true believers will be gathered together at the banquet table in the brand-new, regional T-SPLOST-funded, MARTA central transportation hub for a pork feast for the ages.

Now there are rumors of apostates in this 10-county COTR. What to do with these infidels who refuse to embrace the Gospel of Regionalism, who dare to oppose another penny of indulgence?

The bishops and archbishops say, “Let’s make them pay anyway, no matter how they vote within their quaint little county lines and political subdivisions. Let’s take their pitiful pennies and build our golden rails and drive our silver buses in all directions from the Holy City. Let them eat their futile ballots while we have our enlightened way, while we get things done, while we progress.”

Meantime, Pope Deal desires for the Church of the Region to become more ... governed. So Pope Deal will instruct his legislative cardinals in the General Assembly of the Region-born to draw up new Holy Words that will turn the ministers of the roundtable into anointed regional governors freed from the earthly bonds of elective office and shameful election year dependence upon the ignorant taxpayers to actually vote for them.

Then the enlightened can finally get on with the business of getting things done in the Region without having to worry about those ignorant taxpayers and voters.

In the End was the Word, and the Word was Regionalism.

And the pope and the cardinals and the archbishops and the bishops and the Chamber of Commerce choirs looked upon their new world and saw that it was good. Very good for them.

For the rest of us, not so good.

But at least those three “self-evident truths” of localism will have been exposed for the shams that they really were.

Thus endeth the parable.

[Editor and publisher Cal Beverly has been quaintly and provincially covering news in the Region and misunderestimating the holiness of government since 1969.]

Randy Boyett
Randy Boyett's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2011
Government Religion

Cal

Interesting analysis and I think I agree with you if I interpreted the parable correctly. The early Chinese culture probably has it correct in their theory of Yin and Yang - each positive has a negative and each negative has a positive.

I for one would not support any additional taxes for infrastructure. Not that I do not think we need the infrastructure and improvements. But where the heck are the taxes we pay now going - income tax, payroll tax, property tax, gasoline tax, license plates, etc. It is time to live within the means and let the bubble deflate, as painful as that may be.

However, on the other hand many of Fayette County citizens commute to the north and are affected by the transportation issues there. So does that make it a "local" issue? And looking at the regional commissions, would it not be better to be a part of that decision process than on the outskirts of the process? Sun Tzu advised to stay close to you friends and closer to your enemies.

I am glad that there are commissions that hopefully want to plan transportation expenditures - just do it within the means you have without raising additional taxes. The really sad part for me is I no longer trust that the appointed and elected officials can be trusted unless they are examined closely. That is unfortunate.

Randy Boyett
Randy Boyett's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2011
Government Religion

Cal

Interesting analysis and I think I agree with you if I interpreted the parable correctly. The early Chinese culture probably has it correct in their theory of Yin and Yang - each positive has a negative and each negative has a positive.

I for one would not support any additional taxes for infrastructure. Not that I do not think we need the infrastructure and improvements. But where the heck are the taxes we pay now going - income tax, payroll tax, property tax, gasoline tax, license plates, etc. It is time to live within the means and let the bubble deflate, as painful as that may be.

However, on the other hand many of Fayette County citizens commute to the north and are affected by the transportation issues there. So does that make it a "local" issue? And looking at the regional commissions, would it not be better to be a part of that decision process than on the outskirts of the process? Sun Tzu advised to stay close to you friends and closer to your enemies.

I am glad that there are commissions that hopefully want to plan transportation expenditures - just do it within the means you have without raising additional taxes. The really sad part for me is I no longer trust that the appointed and elected officials can be trusted unless they are examined closely. That is unfortunate.

BHH
BHH's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/11/2011
Excellent analogy Cal.

Very scarey though.

Even more scary if it comes to fruition.

ginga1414
ginga1414's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/01/2008
I Completely Agree

Over the last 26 years, I have had many opportunities to see up close and personally how our local and Federal Governments work. I have learned what makes the majority of our elected officials tick.

Indeed, BHH, it is an extremely scary thought!

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
The Great Savior of Regionalism!

BHH, if you are for less government, WHY ON EARTH do you support the current system in which there are MULTIPLE layers of government--federal, state, county, and city!

People like you call for running government like a business, but totally IGNORE the first rule of business--Economies of Scale! How can government EVER get smaller when you have four layers to deal with?

The SAVIOR is actually editor Cal's Great Satan of REGIONALISM! This means abandoning the state system and moving to a Federal System only, or short of that, dividing the US into governmental quadrants--the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest!

This would eliminate the duplication of 50, count'em 50, state governments with differing Commercial Codes, regulations, etc! Talk about inefficiency! Not to mention the 150 some odd county governments in Georgia alone!

Want small government? Give me a break!

Why don't GM and Ford have factories or multiple factories in each state to get CLOSER to their customers, because as everybody knows All Markets Is Local? Because its hugely inefficient, that's why!

Verily, I say unto you that propose to run government like a business-- REGIONALISM IS THE TRUTH, THE LIGHT and THE WAY!

So, BHH, Editor Cal, and others on baptized in the 'church of run government like a business', are you ready to offer up the state system as a burnt offering and embrace REGIONALISM to ACTUALLY run government like a BUSINESS?

BHH, I can hear the but, but, buts forming in your head all the way out in Brooks now!

Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges!

Falcons need a plan, bad!

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
Editor Cal, Are You Now, Or Have You

ever been, anti-Roman Catholic? I think this article says more about your religious views than your views on local governments versus regionalism!

What group is next, the Taoists!?

Deo duce, ferro comitante!

Falcons Gonna Pack the Packers!

Cal Beverly
Cal Beverly's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/02/2005
Martin Luther, Pope Leo X and I chat regularly . . .

. . . about how misunderstood we are, especially by black-clad Eastern religion/martial arts pretenders.

Ah, but we soldier on . . .

kcchiefandy
kcchiefandy's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2009
Sorry, Ninja...

...the Foulcans (specifically their secondary) are going to give up as much sod & points as they did in their playoff debacle of last year; also, w/ their weak front 5, I hope GB doesn't kill Ryan - he's too nice a kid. But, best of luck!!!

Oh, and maybe he's mimicking the Anglican hierarchy? Possible?

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
KC Chief Andy

I think thouest may be correct in your assessment of the coming fun and games between the Falcons and Packers this weekend, but I wish not. I hope Ryan survives, as I am sure he is a good Catholic lad!

I don't think the mimicking is of the Anglican hierarchy, as they have no pope (only the Arch Bishop of Canterbury) and no College of Cardinals that I know of!

If Satan can turn God's Word upside down and pervert the Scriptures, what will he do with my words -- or the words of others?

ML

Come on Birds, Get a Real Plan Together Quick! The Pack is Coming!

kcchiefandy
kcchiefandy's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2009
Well, true Ninja...

...but I'm sure the have a hierarchy that reflects much the same! I confess (to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters...) my ignorance of their church (and many other Christian factions not of the True Church).

I've tried to get on the Birds bandwagon after 8 yrs here, but just can't do it...although the GA Dome is a GREAT place to watch a game!

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
KC Transplant Andy

You should break free of the confines of your local parish and Saturday night bingo to see how the other half worships! I think attending other churches once in a while is no longer punishable by death under Canon Law!

Also, you should embrace your new transplant hometown team! When in Rome...!

I went to the dome once or twice, but was deafened by the incessant roar of the crowd! Also, I was afraid of being hit in the eye by those Chick-Fil-A cow things they throw from the top!

Can Mularkey put together more than 15 good plays on an opening drive?!

Let Ryan run the no-huddle!

kcchiefandy
kcchiefandy's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2009
LOL, Ninja!

Thought that'd get a rise from somebody!! ATL will have more 3-and-outs than 1st Downs, sorry to say...but good luck! No-huddle will be their only chance - best do it early and test it!