Contemplate those words for a moment. Ingest them. Reflect on them. 

Are political changes needed in Jones County? Have some in powerful positions become too engrained, too corrupt? Will the free-thinking spirit that has marked Jones County from its earliest days rule the day this time around? We hope so.

People love to talk about change, especially when it comes to politics, but far too often the same politicians are swept back into office for two, three, four or more terms. Having officials serve so many terms, though, can be a detriment because, the longer those politicians serve, the more they learn how to game the system.

If we could snap our fingers, we would install term limits on every elected office. Career politicians — from our sheriff to the highest branches of the federal government — become susceptible to power, money, influence and special favors for “special” people. It is why a 200-plus-year-old quote from 19th century British politician Lord Acton still rings so true: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The longer someone is in office, the more they use that position for their own gain. It’s the nature of the beast.

Which makes this Thursday’s second meeting of the group Citizens Against Corruption so important. The first gathering attracted hundreds to a conference room in a Laurel motel. The makeup of that group was a cross-section of the county from a few well-off folks to Jane and Joe Sixpacks who are fed up with the status quo. 

Let’s face it, folks, the Joes and Janes who get up every morning, go to work to provide for their families and play by the rules are the difference makers. That is you. You can be the change this community needs if only you would get involved.

The groundwork has been laid, but there is so much more that needs to be done. Qualifying for elected offices is in full swing. In less than eight months, voters in Jones County — from Ovett to Sandersville and from Hebron to Mill Creek — will cast ballots to forge the direction of the future of this county. It will be up to each of you to decide whether you are just fine with the happenings now or realize there truly is a desire for change.

Come Thursday night at the Sandersville Community Center, like-minded people who are fed up will gather. While the first meeting was an introduction of the group, this will be more organizational than introduction. Leaders need to be found and a laser focus on what needs to be accomplished has to be found.

Time is ticking.

If you change nothing, then nothing will change.

So be the change that is needed to end the corruption, the shenanigans, the insider-dealings and the status quo. We are so much better than that. It starts with you.

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