Threatening the power structureBoth the Tennessean yesterday and the Knoxville News-Sentinel today have stories about State Representative Stacey Campfield.
I have long believed that the real reason that the people who don't like Stacey feel the way they do about him is because he tells the truth. Stacey Campfield is not going to butter you over to make you feel like he'll do what you want and then vote another way behind your back. Many other legislators do this just to insure that they get re-elected. They know that the average Joe Sixpack doesn't bother to check voting records. Stacey Campfield doesn't do that-if he doesn't agree with you, he will just tell you flat-out. I've seen him do this to constituents and I have even experienced the phenomenon myself.
When crooks like Rep. Joe Armstrong say "relationships" get things done on the Hill, that is precisely what Campfield is trying to combat. Friendly relationships are good, and Stacey has those, believe me. What he does not enjoy (and wouldn't enjoy even if he could) is the sort of "Boys' Club" atmosphere that permeates the Hill. Democrats would feel more comfortable if Stacey just shut up because they have been the party of control for a century-and-a-half and God forbid that anyone rock their boat.
Many Republicans are also quite comfortable with the status quo, because maintaining it means they don't have to answer for their actions, either. There are those of us who love Stacey, and there are others who hate him, but he has gone to the legislature and presented ideas, and has opened himself up for scrutiny in a way that few others up at the Plaza have done-all in the name of open government.
In a time in Nashville when both parties give us either crooks or cowards and present these people to us and call them leaders, Stacey Campfield is refreshing because he is neither one. He won't play the Democrats' game, nor will he sell out just to be comfortable.
My late grandfather always used to remind me that the truth is never popular among those in authority. "The truth was so unpopular that it got Christ crucified," he would say. Yet Christ continued to tell the truth and was deemed a threat to the power structure.
These people who call Stacey Campfield names, who mock him, and who shout him down do so because they are quite content with the way things are. Truth is anathema to those who resist reform. The reason that some of these people hate Stacey Campfield so much is because he is a threat to the power structure.
We need more threats to the power structure.
Labels: Tennessee politics