People Are Stupid, Especially If You Give Them Power

Sigh. Another HOA decided to play Kindergarten Gestapo with the American flag. This time it was in Cherokee County, Georgia.

“They are giving us 23 days to display it,” [U.S. Navy Veteran Tom] Wilder said. “Now we won’t be able to even put it in the ground. It has to be in a flag holder attached to our houses.”

In America, people have the right to sign away all kinds of rights. In many states, you can sign away the right to get another job in the same industry (non-compete clauses). Just about everywhere, you can sign away your right to talk about certain subjects (non-disclosure agreements). And when you buy a house, you can sign away the right to do–well just about anything the tin-hat dictators in the homeowner association don’t like.

If they don’t like messy American flags breaking up their tidy streets filled with perfect 2-inch cut grass and perfectly manicured shrubbery, and as a homeowner your covenants give them the right to regulate the outside appearance of your home, then they get to kill your right to express your patriotism.

That doesn’t make them smart. In fact, it makes them stupid.

Let me introduce the formula for stupid: S is directly¬†proportional to P^a, where S is “stupid,” P is “power,” and a is the degree or area of control given to a particular person. I call that the Barney Fife formula.

In this particular case, the Barney Fifes in this Georgia neighborhood have Power to regulate when veterans can display an American flag, and various other ridiculous but vital-to-them items (a). Therefore, Stupid increases to near infinity.

It’s not rocket science, it’s human nature when people are selfish idiots who walk around with rulers to measure grass blade height. Now they’ll probably walk back their dumb rule because their stupidity will be on display for all to see.

That’s another formula, the one relating walking back stupidity with the degree of news coverage–that we see every day–mostly in Washington D.C. But occasionally, we see it played out in small communities like Cherokee County.

Point to the Kindergarten Gestapo, but not for long.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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