Let word go forth that two score and 15 years ago my father brought forth a child, me. I had a dream and in it, read my lips, I knew I was not a crook, but rather I saw that when in the course of human events, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
And -- apologies to JFK, Lincoln, MLK, Bush 41, Tricky, Jefferson and Truman -- it was revealed to me in this political epiphany of a vision that I could stand the heat, that I was worthy and more or less honest (April 15 being the "less"), and that because I am most decidedly not a politician, I am best qualified for political office.
I looked around at the public sector in Georgia. Corruption to the left. Incompetence to the right. Greed all around. Big Bidness buying and selling hundreds of millions of dollars in political favors for less than the cost of a basket of peaches. Cronyism and featherbedding sucking taxpayers into desiccated hulks. Ersatz patriotism and hellish pandering to religious prejudice masquerading as conservatism (hell, ol' Barry Goldwater falls off his cloud every time that panderer Ralph Reed claims kinship).
Most distressing was that here in the "New South," I daily witnessed politician after politician playing race games. The black elites maintain their power and broaden the expanse of their buttocks (reference: Maynard Jackson) by convincing the poor and disenfranchised that the power-bullies' thievery is less onerous than that of the white pols. Outside the Perimeter, the boys rail against Atlanta -- with a wink that says, "Y'all know what I mean."
I was aghast when I discovered that King Roy and his Democratic "Yes, suh!" stooges had, in gerrymandering the state, put me in a congressional district where the ho-hum Democrat, Mike Berlon, has as much chance as a tree in front of a Georgia DOT bulldozer. My non-democracy "choice" was between Bob Barr and John Linder. Righteously, I rose up and shouted:
"Enough! That's like having an option between two different, but equally lethal, forms of colon cancer. In both cases, it's bad shit, so to speak."
At least with Barr, there was his slightly redeeming fervent embrace of civil liberties (as long they didn't apply to gays). Still, he was too obsessed with Bill Clinton, too trigger happy in machine-gunning sensible firearms laws, too buffoonish to appeal to the straight-laced fringe that turned out for the GOP primary.
That left Linder. Is he the mild-mannered, low-key, GOP apparatchik portrayed in the media? Not likely. As with his ethically misguided missile of a mentor, Newt Gingrich, Linder is a shill for those who would trample American freedoms while wrapping themselves in the flag. He's a water-carrier for the most corrupt elements of corporate America.
So, I'm doing the only reasonable thing.
Let me introduce John F. Sugg, candidate for Congress in Georgia's 7th District.
You can vote for me. ME! Yes, you can. Absolutely. I'm a state-certified write-in candidate, which as far as I'm concerned is in the finest traditions of democracy. I've filed with the secretary of state, and was even forced to place an advertisement in the Sept. 2 Atlanta Daily Mediocrity.
With any luck, that $87.30 ad will represent my entire campaign financial report. I will not trash our greenways with yard signs. I won't pollute our vistas with hideous billboards. And I definitely won't nauseate you with TV sound bites -- what's needed is vigorous and in-depth discussion on the future of America.
We'll get more into the mechanics of voting as November approaches. But you'll have to start learning to write my name -- precisely. So take a few minutes each evening and pen: John F. Sugg, John F. Sugg, John F. Sugg. Don't forget that middle initial, or your vote won't count. "F" as in "freedom."
Some of you are probably wondering, what's the real difference between John Linder and John F. Sugg? After all, they both have the same first name.
Well, he's a dentist and I'm not.
There are more important distinctions, of course. And as we engage in a fierce campaign, you'll understand the gap, the gulf, the chasm between Linder and Sugg.
For a start, however, Linder is an ally of the terrorists who attacked America a year ago. Does that sound strong? It's really an understatement.
The object of terrorism is not only to kill, maim and demolish, but to instill fear that will coerce citizens into abandoning the basic principles upon which their nation was founded. Benjamin Franklin said it best: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Linder, who can spot tiny decay in a person's mouth, nonetheless leapt into an ocean of political decay when he voted to support the grossly misnamed PATRIOT Act. Linder marched in lockstep in backing the Bush-Ashcroft attack on the Bill of Rights, which is the heart of the law. Osama bin Laden certainly cheered Linder and his fellow travelers.
I pledge that when I'm elected, I'll do my damndest to repeal that most un-American piece of legislation.
Thus, you have the great divide. Vote for Sugg and freedom. Or, vote for Linder and the loss of freedom. Democracy in the United States is threatened by people who pull the strings of politicians such as Linder. That's why I'm running for Congress (and, I'll bet, the incumbent Congressman will be running from me).
On a more local level, Linder deserves a Bronx cheer for his waffling on the Northern Arc. Either he is a leader in the district, or he isn't. But refusing to take a stand, Linder has shown he is not a leader.
Do you have to ask where I stand? The Northern Arc is the road to hell if Georgians hope to salvage what's left of this state and preserve a high quality of life for our children. When I'm elected, I will use my congressional office to urge withholding of federal road funds to Georgia until the state has sensible land-use planning regarding new highways. If that doesn't work, I'll join with other good citizens in protests.
In coming weeks, I'll tackle other issues:
Whew, that's enough for a start.
Put another way, I'll be a voice, not an echo for Bush, the War Party, Enron and its ilk, and powerful lobbies.
Linder may think he has this race won. Citizens need to give him some comeuppance. I challenge him to debate me (and the Democrat challenger) at any place, any time. Let's see if Linder has the cojones to accept.
I know some of you are thinking, "Isn't it just a tad weird that a newspaper editor is running for elected office?" Journalists, especially, may recoil at the thought. My response to fellow scribes is that your bosses have neutered real journalism by creating the cult of objectivity -- passionless journalism that is beholden to the status quo.
For readers, you should know by now that at CL, the rules are different. And you should have no fear about our aggressive reporting on politics -- my colleagues are already making a list of reasons not to endorse me.
Finally, I know the question that is plaguing many supporters is to which party do I bear allegiance. Look at my photograph and the answer should be obvious: the Whig Party. From a platform point of view, the original British Whigs challenged the totalitarian power of the king. That sentiment resonates today.
Senior Editor John F. (don't forget the "F") Sugg is accepting no campaign contributions in his momentum-building run for Congress. However, he will accept proclamations by readers that they support democracy and oppose war. E-mail those messages to email@example.com. Or, call 404-614-1241.
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