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The political playbook: power trip 101

Editorial by Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff

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 Truth is a fickle thing. Everyone wants it, but far fewer are willing to offer it. Those in power demand it, but rarely do they return it.

 Humanity has proven time and time again, as a general rule, that as a person’s condition improves in regards to wealth, power, and success, so too does their propensity for thinking that they know best on how to dictate and define the lives of everyone around them, especially those they view as below them. An “I know better than you” philosophy is often the terrible side effect of success.

 Pity the fool who decides to step out of line and shed light upon the shadows that such individuals cast as they decide everyone else’s fate. In trying to bring truth to the masses, such a fool will often find persecution from those in power, rather than their repentance.

 No one bats an eye when a reporter writes a story about a drug addict or common thief violating the trust of this county. Go sticking your nose in the shadows where some elected officials like to operate, however, seeking truth on how the people of the county are being governed, and you may find a hornet’s nest swarming your head.

 Such is the predicament I have found myself in, and such is the reason small communities like our own are infamous for their “good ol’ boy” politics. It’s a playbook as old as time.

 First, they try to smear your name and threaten you into submission. Most of the time, they never have to go any further than that. It has surely worked in this county before.

 Occasionally, though, some hardheaded, nothing-to-lose individual rises up from the peasant ranks and refuses to back down. Heaven knows I’ve lost more by my own hand in the past than anyone could ever threaten to take now.

 When such an impasse takes place, there is usually no other option except for the powerful to raise the pot. Such power rarely folds and simply hands over truth. Instead, they double down and come back harder.

 The fool must be silenced, whatever the cost. So, round two involves law and finances. If you can’t threaten truth seekers into silence, suing or financially ruining them is the next plan of action.

 It was of little surprise when a local lawyer moseyed into our office a couple weeks ago, talking about how he doesn’t w