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Cornelius News

Why Mecklenburg is still a ‘Hornet’s Nest’

Jim Puckett listens as NCDOT’s Warren Cooksey explains tolls on I-77 and the 50-year contract with a Spanish company

May 20. By Jim Puckett. May 20th was one of the first sparks in what grew to be the birth of not just a new nation but a new way of governing.  Not governance by the strongest, or the wealthiest or as a result of inheritance, but as a process that ultimately grows from the wishes of those governed.

As a descendant of two signers of Meck Dec I have always relished the boldness of the action.

It should not go unnoticed that when Capt. Jack delivered the document to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the Congress felt the actions to be too rash and opted instead for a more measured approach.

The means of change

There were still many who felt that compromise with England and a path that kept us as part of the kingdom but with greater voice and flexibility was the better course.  Ultimately Mecklenburg County’s path was recognized as inevitable, as well as the means of change.

The Mecklenburg Declaration was the formal notice that free men could and would declare themselves able to self-rule.  This was the “official” notice that it was a new day with new rules and when government chose to abuse it’s power in a manner that chose winners and losers, favored some at the expense of others those who were slighted had a right and in many minds a duty to revolt.

It is a lesson our government today, both at the federal and local level, should recognize and accommodate.

What is independence?

When certain industries, or worse, independently powerful companies or individuals, start to have an unnatural and unfair advantage, free markets and free people will commence the actions needed to overcome those advantages.

This is why I believe you are seeing pushback against both political parties, the angst against government overstep be it stay at home, massive tax breaks for companies as incentives, or political stand-offs that serve only the elected and do nothing or worse for those needing governmental action.

When a small group of people, be they a royal family, a dictator or an entrenched self-serving incumbency start diminishing the lives of those they govern, those harmed should rise up and declare “NO MORE.”

Rash and inflammatory?

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was a rash and inflammatory statement, the 18th century version of “We are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore”.  It was the spark that caught, the moment that called individuals long ill-treated to join as one and labor for change.  It is likely the DNA of those revolutionaries that dwells in my blood that compels me to urge citizens to demand better from government and holds to the obligation to change that government when it fails to respond.

—Jim Puckett is the former Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners represent District 1 which includes Cornelius. He lost to Elaine Powell in 2018. Puckett, who is on the ballot in the general election on Nov. 3, is also a former member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education. He is the president of Electro Painters.