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Posted: November 6, 2011 12:00 a.m.

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Politicking and Protesting

I don't usually get into current events but you have to admit, the recent developments in the 'Occupy' movements and local political activity have been quite interesting, to say the least.

According to the news, they are not predicting a high voter turnout, but I'm willing to bet it's a different story in Newton County and Social Circle. I don't think the presidential election could get more interesting than the local elections. You never know what to expect regarding political debates but some things just take the cake.

The race for Mayor of Social Circle hasn't gotten ugly, but in the last few weeks, some of the candidates have been visiting and campaigning in an effort to get my vote. As long as they don't snatch the campaign sign in my yard I'll consider all my choices carefully when I get to the voting precinct.

During their campaign visit each candidate explained what their goals were and asked for my opinions and suggestions. We seemed to be on the same page but I wonder what their answer would have been if I'd asked how they would handle the 'Occupy' movement if it happened here?

Atlanta Mayor Kasseem Reed and Bobby Sigman seem to be alike in some ways, having difficulty in making decisions and sticking to them. If I were mayor, the decision would be an easy one and I wouldn't drag my feet in carrying it out. I don't know where these 'Occupy' protestors came from and what their real issue is but it reminds me a lot of the 70s Woodstock movement.

The problem I have with the 'Occupy' protestors is they think everything wrong is the government's fault and the government "owes" them something. Many people think the same thing when they fill out their tax returns every year and see what they're getting back. When you work, pay taxes and are responsible for contributing to society, you have a right to voice your opinion on things. If things don't work out the way you think they should, pointing fingers and blaming everybody else isn't the answer. Point the finger back at yourself, take some responsibility and do something about the situation. When you fall, you can stay down or get back up, dust yourself off, keep going and learn from your mistakes.

Disobedience doesn't work in any situation and only makes things worse. I'm afraid if this lesson wasn't learned as a child, it is going to be even harder to learn as an adult. When you finally understand what respect and responsibility is really about then you can exercise your rights. Pitching a fit will get you attention if that's what you're after but it also carries consequences you may not have bargained for.

Unfortunately, some people let their pride, ignorance, dignity, lack of respect and common sense override any logic and refuse to give up their cause. You can't help someone who isn't willing to give a little and at least meet you halfway and these protesters are a stubborn bunch. Giving up sometimes has its advantages and can be a move in the right direction.

Personally, I think this protesting nonsense has gone on long enough. It's time to wake up and smell the coffee, accept things for what they are and deal with it. Welcome to the real world - you may not like it and you may not agree with a lot of things but your attitude determines your whole life. America is a land of freedoms, rights and liberties but nothing is truly free but if you work for it, it's well worth the effort.

The saying "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" and do it with pride seems to fit perfectly in society today. Our attitudes can take us further than we can dream or imagine and all it takes is one person to lead the way and inspire others. If one person can inspire millions to protest across America for the wrong reasons, then, surely one person can have the same effect for the right reason.

Beth Rowe may be reached at

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