Georgia's major political parties officially traded places in 2004, with Republicans taking over everything except the title of South Georgia Fair Queen, and Democrats relegated to muttering "wait'll next millennium" to each other.
While the Democrats were getting sacked and the Republicans were doing spike-the-ball victory dances, standing on the sidelines hoping just to get in the game were the Libertarians.
They're still a few jumping-jacks away from making the squad. Republicans racked up lopsided victories across Georgia in 2004, but Libertarian candidates received just .6 percent of the votes for president, 2.1 percent for the U.S. Senate and 3.4 percent in the Public Service Commission race.
Those aren't scores to brag about, so the limited-government Libertarians -- sometimes confused with liberals or anarchists -- are keeping score elsewhere: with a quickie online "quiz" meant to pin down participants on their actual political affiliation.
Naturally, the quiz is designed to tell participants: "Surprise! You're a Libertarian!" But it could catch on as a way of finding out where people really stand. Too many candidates and voters choose their party affiliation not because they've studied the party's beliefs, but because they grew up that way.
It's like religion: If you're raised a Baptist, chances are you'll still be one as an adult. Few people are raised in a religion or denomination and then as adults decide to shop around for the belief system that best suits them.
Take the test at http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html. My score pegs me as a right-of-center Libertarian, with 80 percent in economics (we're losing too many jobs overseas for me to favor fictional "free trade"), and 60 percent on personal issues (I'm against homosexual "marriage," and not ready to eliminate drug laws).
Now, if they can just come up with a test for religion.
Leave stadium alone
State Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, a fellow University of Georgia graduate, is one of the sponsors of the state House resolution calling for UGA's Sanford Stadium to be renamed Dooley-Sanford Stadium in honor of former athletic director Vince Dooley.
Whatever you think of former state Sen. Joey Brush, one of his better accomplishments was the state law that prohibits naming state facilities for anyone until they're dead or out of office for five or more years.
The philosophy behind the law is rock-solid: Public facilities should be named after people with legacies, and legacies aren't established until the person is long gone.
It makes perfect sense to name Harlem High's gym, for example, for former basketball coach Tom Whitfield. He's still very much alive, but his coaching legacy is well-established and he's out of public life.
But Dooley is still very much a public figure, having been out of the AD's chair for just a few months. And his name is sometimes tossed around as a political candidate, which would keep him in the spotlight. It will be a long time before the final chapter of his legacy is written.
Even then, find something else to name for him. Just as Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta should have been left without hyphening in "Jackson" after Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson's death, Dooley's fans should leave Sanford Stadium alone.
C'mon, Barry; you're in the big-time with the House leadership now. Spend your Capitol capital on something else.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 863-6165, extension 106.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.