Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Red Capers and Bulls' Spit

First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win.
--Mahatma Gandhi*
Given what's been posted lately on some of the well respected Dunwoody blogs it would appear that Dunwoody's very own Red Shirts are well into the third phase and we're still a few weeks from the polls. They could go all the way.

The original source of the Red Shirts' discomfiture was the feeling that they were ignored which in their minds fell far short of the promise of small government and local control. Or perhaps they didn't realize that even with local control that real power rests with the self-chosen few. They didn't spend much time in the High School cafeteria did they?

Then they started making appearances at Council during the public comment sessions. You know--engage the system. They were snickered at by Council and generally derided on blogs and in the local print media. They did get in some of their own digs but when decorum is shattered by snide comments and giggles from Council it is not a fair fight. But then again incumbency never fights fair.

Now the Red Shirts are being excoriated in the blogosphere for using what appear to be exactly the same tactics used by Dunwoody Yes! and Citizens for Dunwoody back in the pre-referendum days. Anyone who attended those so-called forums and information sessions know they were as fair and balanced as a homecoming pep rally. Citihood proponents hardly displayed any mental agility as they were preaching to the choir and since when did witty repartee replace thoughtful statesmanship as a qualification for governance? And we'll not here rehash the withholding of key information by the pro-city groups prior to the referendum. But in today's blog-bashings what is of particular note is the suggestion that the Red Shirts are copying off each other's crib notes when in fact it is the Red Letter bloggers who write in lockjaw lock step as was often the case in the march to citihood. Perhaps great minds do think alike or perhaps it is a form of high-brow humour. Or maybe some folks just never outgrew the High School cafeteria.

That is indeed the common thread running thru our revolutionary days of change and into our new found love of the status quo--it has always been about the status quo. There has always been a power structure in Dunwoody and now that the City is incorporated this power has been extended beyond mere watchdog to conduit for elected City officials and singular platform for successful candidacy. The Red Shirts neglected to genuflect before them and receive the broad sword's tap on their shoulder.

The blogosphere's reaction indicates the Red Shirts are perceived as a legitimate threat to this long established status quo but it is yet to be seen if they will make it to the end of the path described by Gandhi. This time.

* Mahatma Gandhi, born 2 Oct 1869.