These Russians Get It

In anybody’s little neck of the woods, local politics can get messy. But not as messy as Clayton County, at least not yet. There’s a lot of “Not in My Backyard” and backroom deals and childish pettiness.

The other day, in the local fishwrap, I read about the one of the candidates in the upcoming county commissioner election. A local businessman, trying to dethrone an entrenched bureaucrat. Imagine my surprise to find out he was Russian! (h/t DouglasCountyNews)

Igor Malanchuk, 43, of Winston has filed to challenge Tom Worthan in the July 15 Republican primary for chairmanship of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

[…] He told of an incident that led him to run for office.

“When a zoning officer comes into my business and says he doesn’t want you to do a certain thing ‘because the commissioner says so,’ that’s Soviet Union,” Malanchuk said. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. Are we in the United States? A commissioner says so?’ I thought this was a country of law. That’s a king-like behavior.

“Coming from the Soviet Union, that’s why I’m so sensitive,” he said. “I have seen the hell, I know how it smells, how it walks and how it talks and I will not tolerate it.”

Interesting, isn’t it, the comparison he makes between a life with no freedom and hell itself? Why does it take a person born on foreign soil to see this fundamental truth? Has America (or at least the American Left) become so disillusioned with the bounty of our liberty that they believe only socialism or marxism or communism is the answer to every problem? Or that people who disagree with your opinions are worthy of only the most scathing scorn, regardless of the fact you both are children of God? Has public decorum declined to such a point that you save your “good manners” for those who share the same letter (D or R) after your name? Finally, it reminded me of Gerard’s conversations with another Russian named Paul.

…I was standing in the laundry room of my home and Paul entered to say, “The election, today, right?”

“That’s right. The election is today,” I said and waited.

“You vote?”

“Always. It is the duty,” I said dropping quickly into the pompous, “of an American to vote. Your one duty above all others.”

“I will be American by the next election and I will vote always.”

“Great.” And then it got sort of quiet.

After a long moment of just looking carefully at my face, Paul said, “So…. who you vote?”

“Bush.”

He smiled and relaxed. “Good. Very good. I would too and will when I can vote. I will vote always.”

“He won’t get to run again.”

“Oh, yes. I remember. But I will still vote.”

“Really. For who, the Democrat or the Republican?”

He looked at me and thought about it.

“Not for either. I will vote always for best, always. In Russia when I was small there it was always the party this and this…”

“This and that…”

“Yes. But I don’t like the Party. I think. I think I must vote for best.”

“Did I vote for the best, Paul?”

“Yes.”

“Why do you think so?”

“Because he makes freedom. He does not say freedom only, but makes freedom. In my country, a lot of people say things of freedom and make nothing.”

“So you think the war for Iraq is good?”

“Yes, very good for them I think. Here I think, people do not like the war that makes freedom.”

“I think you’re right.”

“But they do not know. They have too much too long. Me, I remember first no freedom and then freedom quick. When freedom came I knew what I wanted in it.”

“What was that?”

“To come here. To be here. Quick to America.”

“Why so quick?”

He shook his head and looked at me as if I was the one who didn’t understand English.

“Because in Russia, freedom can go away. Here never. If I vote for best.”

Indeed.

UPDATE: Gerard has even more to say about Live Free or Die.

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