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Straight from the Mike…The Proud Badge of Courage


Now that candidate qualifying has been completed. The die has been cast. It is game on.

Anyone who has made the decision to take a sip from the cup of public service, you know it takes courage. It really does not matter which color flag, red or blue, was chosen to run under. The important thing is that a sense of duty and courage prevailed.

As I have opined previously in this column, it is critical for a better Cobb that we get new leaders to step forward. Let me be clear, my mantra is not a slight at all incumbents, by no means. It just suggests that if an incumbent has done their best, put forth a sincere effort to do a responsible job to earn a good grade, you should welcome the chance to tout your record. However, if you have been evasive, quiet on key issues, unresponsive, condescending, tone deaf to your constituents, get ready to rumble. If you are ok with literally displaying a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on your office door, then you need at least one challenger or two, in some cases, is even better.

We, the people, deserve a choice. A choice as to whether one stays in the seat we own, or it is time for us to put an egg in their shoes and tell them to beat it. An incumbent surely knows when the people are after them. It has been said they should run fast, and get ahead of the crowd, strut proudly so as to make it look like a parade.

Thank goodness, the blooming flowers, the Daffodils, and the budding trees will not be the only beauty we experience this spring. We are blessed with a very impressive phalanx of challengers that are willing to put it all on the line in May. Hopefully, Independence Day like fireworks will ring out in May in addition to what we have become accustomed to on July 4th.

A county that has so much potential, in the opinion of many of us, has entirely too many Achilles like heel tender spots. It does not matter whether you want to put forth the number of unhoused children, food desert, bank desert, homeless veterans, unsafe dwellings, blight, a dearth of workforce housing or just simply realize that it is easier, in parts of the county, for Fido, the dog to get fresh food than it is for Mary and Joe to have nearby choices for them and the rest of the family. This spectrum is unacceptable, unnecessary and begs for new sets of eyes to widen their aperture. It is time to weed the garden of opportunity, plant seeds of hope, and change. It is no longer about being critical of the individual; instead, it is about indolence and lack of vision when it comes to addressing the ills of our community. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it so succinctly, “how long? not long.” “Gradualism leads to stand stillism, stand stillism leads to do nothingisum.”

For me, my level of frustration is due to the moment of truth that is upon us. We are at the tipping point in the areas of education, public safety, health, nutrition, and entrepreneurial options. It is downright exciting to see the winds of change blowing the flag of a better government. Those blue clouds over Cobb, Mableton, in particular, portend that there will be better days ahead.

Folks, none of this would be possible if we were to have a ballot with the letter (I) for incumbent next to a number of individuals with no names above or below them after the designated offices.

The best cure for empty rhetoric coming forth from certain incumbents is a challenger. It has been my experience that even the poll workers have a pep in their step, a wider smile on their face when they see, we, the people, marching in with our IDs at the ready, chopping at the bit to vote. It truly gives credence to the recent reminder of this past weekend, Spring forward, and Fall back.

As in the words of the slogan of the Georgia Coalition, “We comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.”

I will leave you with the Ode of the good politician, “There is a time to reap, and a time to sow, a time to serve and a time to go.”

I remain Michael Murphy…


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