Four years ago this month I quit LDOE to pursue justice for the people of Louisiana. I feel justice is the appropriate word, because I believe superintendent John White is a criminal and he should be brought to justice and answer for his crimes. Now, four years later, it appears White has achieved a new form of legitimacy under a new Governor and administration of the opposite political party bringing new and local relevance to the cliche’ that “the more things change the more things stay the same.”
I’ve been told by former allies I need to hush myself, to be quiet and allow Governor Edwards time to work his magic. To those who would seek to silence me, know this, I am doing nothing to stop him. I strongly encourage him to continue his efforts; if those are serious and sincere. It will be beneficial for him in the long run, as well as the rest of Louisiana, to remove White.
When I left the Department I had only vague ideas of what I would to accomplish. I was very naive to say the least. I foolishly believed that good always triumphed over evil, that crimes were punished once they were discovered, that deep down everyone wanted to take care of our state and our children (they just had different ideas about how to go about doing that.) I thought the media still had plenty of Peter Parkers and and Clark Kents to battle all the Jonah Jamesons, but that just isn’t so.
Even so, I think many folks who knew me considered me plenty jaded before I left the department on my ill-conceived quest for justice, truth, transparency, and fairness. I’m sure many were genuinely surprised to find out about my extracurriculars after I left. . . Now that I’ve peered behind the polluted political curtain personally, my anger and frustration has given way to something. . . new. It’s not acceptance exactly, but it is the expectation that almost anyone involved in politics, law enforcement, and government in general is probably a crook – at least those in positions of power in those agencies. So like, what’s the point in “exposing” anything really? The Catch 22, no one in power cares or they wouldn’t be in power. We reward personal loyalty over integrity in the government sector and our political system is geared toward electing liars and bribable double-dealers. For instance, in Louisiana many of our agency heads are former or future politicians or relatives of connected individuals or donors. Competency is probably the least important consideration for most appointees.
I imagine this is not an enormous revelation for most of my readers, but it is a sad realization for me, and poses a bit of a personal quandary. I started my blog with the idea that I could make a difference and that the truth mattered. That no longer appears to be the case. Keeping up a blog and researching new material for it takes a lot of time if done well. Usually you become the subject of scorn and mockery and you and your family can even be personally threatened if you anger the wrong folks as has happened to me on occasion.
I suppose the experience for bloggers like Peter Cook out of NOLA who proudly extolls the virtues of his not-so-secret unabashed bromance, is a bit different. Those who support the status quo and the ideas of their wealthy benefactors probably walk on rose petal strewn paths to their keyboards every morning. The life of an outcast, agitator blogger are a bit less pleasant and filled with a lot less triumph, reward, and recognition and you are always one post away from making a new enemy if you are acting true to your principles and beliefs and, well, the truth. When people recognize my name from my blog I never know if they are going to punch me or hug me so I eye everyone a bit cautiously until I see if their hands are clenched and eyes are narrowing.
Believe it to not, writing a blog reporting on unpopular subjects that most people will never read or give you credit for is not the most inspirational existence. Inspiration is a blogger’s stock in trade, to give and receive. Inspiration is the only currency most bloggers will ever receive for their efforts and so when then that disappears. . .
I have the material, just not the will to curate or produce it for the time being. I have taken on other projects, so I don’t lack for things to do. Perhaps I am done, or perhaps my goals and objectives are evolving into something new?
Getting involved in the election process has taken a toll and I’ve been taking the decisions made by others too personally. Accepting that I don’t have control of others, only myself, sounds obvious but has been more challenging than I expected. I don’t like losing, elections, games, goals, but maybe this was a good thing for me personally and needed to happen for the next evolution of myself and my blogging to take place?
The problems are deeper and more entrenched than I’d thought. I do have some ideas though. . . and I don’t expect the next 4 years to be the same as the last.