The Parade of Politicians
In Marietta, every year as far back as I remember, there has been an 4th of July Parade.
If you have seen one you have seen them all, just about. There are marching high school bands, politicians, floats with Miss Cobb, and maybe Junior Miss Cobb, opened convertibles with someone who has some inflated self-worth waving at the crowds, civic organizations, people on horses, Little League teams, the Shriners is their wild little cars, motorcycles, clowns, and red convertible Mustangs… it is an enjoyable site to see.. just for the fun of watching people.
In my very early years I remember riding on a fire truck in the parade; with my Little League teem; and later with the my scout troop,
But now the fun is being taken out of it. The City Fathers decided to make rules then make exceptions, and also chose to overlook some things.
They made a rule that any group in the parade cannot handout paraphernalia such as candy and flags. FLAGS??? That was one of the biggies of the parade each year to hand out U.S. Flags.
I don’t see any good to banning small U.S. Flags. This is to celebrate the birthday of America – the U.S. red, white, and blue flag represents it all. I think it is wrong to rub people’s face in the flag if they don’t feel the same – some can be holier than thou thinking they are better than other people because they hold the flag sacred – but that is their problem because they are denying people the right of choice…. But, in general, if you don’t want to see flag waving you should stay away from the 4th of July Parade.
And to make matters worse was the method of the line-up of the parade. The official first thing is the big shiny red fire truck with its lights flashing and the sirens and horns blasting. That is OK, it sets the party mood.
But after the fire truck is the politicians. Some will be walking to shake hands and some will be in convertibles waving – all will be smiling like ‘possums (as my mother used to say). And the Veteran’s organization is on down in the line.
Wait! The Veteran groups, such as the VFW are the ones that traditionally handed out the little hand flags for people to wave. They also were the first behind the fire truck so they could hand out to the people so they could wave their flags as the parade marched by them.
But, if handing out flags have been outlawed, then it doesn’t much matter what position the veteran groups march in does it?
And now the favoritism and the turn-thy-head kicks in. Walking in front of the fire truck will be the Marietta Lions Club and they will be handing out flags.
The local head of the VFW asked why the Lions Club gets to hand out flags that have been banned this year. Here is the answer that was given in so many words:
The Marietta Lions Club is not a registered group to be in the parade. They are marching before the parade and what they do about handing out flags is their business, we can’t tell them what to do if they are registered to be in the parade.
How is that for good old political favoritism?
Also, the leader of the VFW wondered why they were not allowed directly behind the fire truck, because, if it wasn’t for them there may not be a Independence Day to celebrate.
The answer was, in so many words, was “the position of different groups were decided by priority.” Who’s priority? The politicians I bet.
Here is another thought on why the VFW got shoved on down in the lineup pecking order: The VFW is generally made up of working class people, the blue collar work force. And the Lion’s Club is made up of civic leaders that are usually officers of a company or maybe own their own business… members of that group are most likely to contribute to a politician campaign.
That is what I like about parades, they are so traditional. Granting favoritism to those with money is about as traditional as you can get.