What I’m looking for

By Scott Ballard District Attorney

April 20, 2014

Ahhh. Spring is in the air. Out from among the brown, dead grass emerges tender green turf. Flowers push aside the brittle, dry leaves on the ground and rise from the soil. The landscape transforms with budding trees and… political signs.

Yep. This year the primaries are in the spring. On May 20 we have some decisions to make.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for certain qualities in the candidates.

I want people who recognize the legitimate role of government and restrict its activities to those limits. I don’t want the government to be my nanny, my medical provider, my preacher, or my oppressive creditor. I do want the government to excel in appropriate governmental roles. Protect us from enemies, foreign and domestic. Provide the framework for our ability to succeed—-infrastructure that encourages and facilitates commerce, schools that prepare children for the challenges of modern life, proper care for those who are unable to care for themselves and without families to assist them.

I want leaders who get things done. I’m tired of meaningless philosophical debate. Entire counties in Georgia are withering away and it’s time to take note of the plight those people face. They need industry. They need doctors. They need decent schools. Enough of the silly political wrestling. I want leaders who care about the citizens enough to make a positive impact on their lives. I want statesmen.

We need a fresh, sensible approach to juvenile delinquency. Some of the most dangerous criminals in our circuit are juveniles. It’s time for folks to get their heads out of the sand. We have gangs. We have children that are seriously addicted to drugs and alcohol. If it costs over $90,000 per year to house each juvenile delinquent, that’s ridiculous. It’s just as stupid to let them roam around free so that we can save money. The recent juvenile reform effort was a joke. I want leaders who are willing to tackle this issue responsibly.

I’m hoping that somebody will emerge as a visionary in the field of education. I’ve had teachers that taught me life-changing lessons. They awakened me to matters that rejuvenated the mind. That needs to happen every day in our schools. If it doesn’t, we need to make whatever changes are required. Children should enter the school building with the expectation that they are about to receive priceless insight.

We are fast becoming a welfare state. If that is to change, we need businesses. Jobs. Commerce. Construction. Right now, the approach is to cut every budget to the bone. Sometimes that’s a good plan. But, for the long-term, there must be revenue and that revenue comes from industry. People who are more financially astute than I am know how to attract companies that employ workers. I want leaders who will seek out their counsel and follow it.

In the United States of America, somebody is going to succeed.

If we choose well on May 20, who knows? Maybe that could be us.