Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WHERE DOES BULLYING END

Louisville, KY - Most that read the headline will automatically assume this article will address the bullying against children, or groups such as the gay community. Sorry to disappoint you.

No I want to ask the business and community leaders one question, where does bullying end?

We are now spending millions each year promoting an anti bullying message in regards to our children but leadership requires that one lead by example. This is where we fail.

During the Jim King case I defended, and won, hundreds of these leaders would write and offer information of other alleged improprieties by King and his daughter, sitting Judge Katie King. When I filed charges against former Councilwoman Judy Green the same rule applied.

It seemed everyone had a new story to tell and the mantra was contact Springston with info and he will do the work for us. In short they wanted to hide out of fear of being bullied by the elected establishment.

We are not talking about average citizens here folks. We are talking about recognized community leaders, business owners, and those who seemingly have power and influence. None of whom contribute any money or resources whatsoever to aid in the fight. Why not? Is it not in their best interests to do so?

Of course it is but I understand that they will suffer needlessly if they are associated in any way with someone who dares take on the political establishment. I'm not alone many fight the fight everyday in their own way.

I can and would never give their names because I believe in confidentiality as anyone who has ever read one story here can attest. Sources deserve to be protected so we can get at the truth and they always will be protected here as they know.

But now with Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's current debacle, these leaders are once again calling  wanting me to fight the fight for them. I will do so as it is the right thing to do but we have to ask ourselves one question.

Why would they call me?

Those with the resources and time to do the hard work feel as though they can't. Why?

Because they are scared of repercussions from the elected. The elected leaders bully them into silence. From threats of IPL investigations, to zoning problems for developers, the list is long and endless. Harass anyone who stands against the elected status quo into compliance. I have been told  so many examples it would make you sick.

Instilling that fear is how the bullies win at all levels. Including our government bullies. Bullying is bullying.

It doesn't matter whether the bullying involves a child or an adult. When you allow others to control you out of fear you are empowering the bully.

What message does that send to the bully? What example does that set for our kids?

The message clearly is that, "if you have something to lose let others control you, that is an acceptable behavior."

And that is the fundamental problem. Our own government leaders wear you down through harassment and intimidation. All with their unlimited resources that is our tax money.

Is there a price for standing up against bullies? You bet. I pay the price everyday.

My non fear of bullies has cost me a great deal both personally and professionally. From the standard not so subtle IPL visits sent as a warning, to the phone calls threatening me and my family, and much worse. It has cost me income and my standard of living.

Sorry folks but the reality is nothing in life is free. There are repercussions for our actions.

Is it worth it? You bet. So why would I be OK with that?

Because it's important to hold OUR elected leaders accountable.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin.

The words by Franklin ring true more today than ever. What are we sacrificing for our own benefit. Temporary safety from those that would oppress us? Our own elected leaders?

As a veteran I took an oath to stand against all enemies foreign and domestic. I believe when we adult leaders cower in fear instead of standing up for what is right, then we have allowed the enemy to come into our house.

When it involves fear of our own elected leaders then that enemy is a domestic one.

Recently, a friend reminded me of Socrates with his comments to a previous article at Louisville Politics. "Socrates said that the highest role of a citizen philosopher was to be a “gadfly.” By that, he meant that the proper function of citizenship was to be a constant irritant to those in power."

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

In modern and local politics, gadfly is a term used to describe someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position.

I agree and unless we continually hold the powerful elected accountable then we cannot move forward.

While we consistently preach the message of no more bullies to our kids, when does that message resonate with the messenger itself?

How can we sit idly by and allow ourselves to cower in fear to our ELECTED government?

Socrates also stated, "I only know that I know nothing."

I agree with this in many areas but I do know one thing from practical experience. As a child I was bullied. I was a little guy compared to today, and an easy target accordingly, but I found out one thing.

When I finally chose to quit being victimized and stood up for the first time against a bully something strange happened.

The rest disappeared.

I learned my lesson. Standing up for one's self makes a difference. As an adult today I have learned that it not only makes a difference in my life it does in others as well. Ask Jim King and Judy Green if the costs of their arrogance and attempts at bullying were worth it. In a few weeks ask Barbara Shanklin the same thing.

Bullying takes all shapes, forms, and sizes. It knows no boundaries to age, race, color, or religion. Or government.

The only allegiance a bully has is to himself. He must oppress you to feel better about himself. His power reinforces his well being. The same is true of our elected. In a sense it is also reflective of those who choose to hide from bullies for fear of losing something. Whether it be money or status.

Standing up to these bullies makes a difference in people's lives. Not just your own. It is a positive to the majority of the people that these elected leaders are supposed to serve. That's what happens when you stand up for truth, ethics, morals, and values.

I have received too much mail to count thanking me for my efforts in gaining accountability against the elected leaders who abuse our trust. To each of you my sincerest thanks.

I am one man, one voice, who has the courage to move forward and force accountability from those that would abuse our public trust, our money, and our values.

But I am left to wonder. If one man can accomplish so much, what would happen if others joined forces and stood up as one?

I will continue rising up until the day I die. It is that simple. Each of us deserves to be heard and recognized. That has always been the intent of the MyViewMatters mantra. Empower yourself and others will follow.

In the meantime, I will continue to be the voice for each of you until you feel it is safe to do so on your own. All of us deserve a voice. For you business leaders I will gain accountability for you. All you have to do is contact me and ask.

But I have to admit.

It sure would be nice to have some help along the way.............

Listen daily from 7-8pm at The Ed Springston Show. Also visit Louisville Politics for more details and in depth coverage of local political and news issues.

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Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston

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