Time to stand up for ‘the little guy’

White column-Feb

By Jack “Alex” White III, columnist ~ “Small towns, big potential”

As impossible as it may seem, I ask that you suspend any thoughts that you may currently have about solar panels, the environment, tourism, scenic viewsheds, incompetent government, or any of the other things that have been pulling our county in a million different directions…

Now imagine a simple scenario: a large company (in any industry) attempts to capitalize on a small county that has plainly spoken about their desire to simply be left alone. Regardless of that county’s reasoning, they had their reasons, and they chose to resist the company’s whims.

Even on its worst days, government can’t help but take notice when people authentically speak their piece with clarity and force. Seeing that, the small county decided to enlist the help of experts in writing a rule that would make sure that they could never be taken advantage of in the future.

Still, the large company decided that it knew better. “How could these little people write their own rules?” In their infinite wisdom, they decided that they could come up with a better rule for the small county (a rule that would allow the company to do everything that they had wanted…).

Strangely enough (with the help of some very special friends), the large company triumphed!

Whether you’re the world’s staunchest progressive or its most backward “hillbilly,” that story probably sounds wrong to you. It is born out of the same disregard for others which has caused  similar stories to play out before (check out “Page County Fibrowatt” when you get a chance).

Now I am always among the first people to stand up for positive development against the regressive attitudes that oppose it — but I believe that the voice of the people should take precedence over anything else. That is especially true when it is the voice of “the little guy.”

I leave you with a quote from the original story of “the little guy,” Mr. Smith Goes To Washington:

“I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little lookin’ out for the other fella, too…That’s pretty important, all that. It’s just the blood and bone and sinew of this democracy that some great men handed down to the human race, that’s all… Love thy neighbor.”

I will always stand up for “the little guy” in their fight against outside exploitation.

Will you?

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Jack “Alex” White III is a student at Harvard University, where he is studying Government. While there, he has become the Policy Director for Harvard Undergraduates for Bipartisan Solutions (HUBS) and Senior Content Editor for the Harvard Economics Review. Alex is a lifelong native of Page County and graduate of Luray High School.

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