Michael Adkins did not even scratch the surface in his explanation for the lack of Democratic Party support here in Hancock County (Column, “County needs two political parties for quality leaders,” Feb. 7). Dig a little deeper, and we find the skeletons and carnage of the Democratic Party’s failed policies.
Let’s start with the “white flight” that populated western Hancock County. The label, “white flight,” itself is a pejorative misnomer. It only gained currency from elitists that saw their failed attempt to subjugate follow citizens to their social experiment.
Indianapolis in the 1960s was a good place to live, all without federal aid and its strings attached. Indianapolis was a city of neighborhoods, each with its subtle and unique differences. The high schools of these neighborhoods often provided the focal point of community pride, especially when the school’s athletic teams did well.
Local business and the community would rally to support their local athletes, and they were the heroes of the neighborhood. Indianapolis was not utopia, but measured against any other city, it worked.
All that changed when Judge S. Hugh Dillon (Democrat), nominated by Kennedy (Democrat), took a page out of the Soviet Union playbook and snatched the sons and daughters away from parents and their neighborhood schools and bused them to the four corners of the county.
The rapport between school, parent and neighborhood was severed. Children sat on buses for two hours or more each school day.
The distance parents had to travel for extra school activities was burdensome.
Children were reduced to a traded commodity; the money that followed them fueled the coffers of county schools and allowed these county schools to build campuses that surpassed those of most colleges.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Public School System, which was once the best in the state, was decimated by Judge Dillon’s experiment in social engineering.
Neighborhood schools no longer served as the anchor of community pride. Sections of the city were abandoned as families sought to bridge the divide forced on them by Dillon.
Dillon did not receive “consent of the governed.” His abuse of government power left parents little choice but to leave metropolitan Indianapolis.
The power of the people since the writing of the Declaration of Independence had clearly shifted to the power of the government. So many once-beautiful Indianapolis neighborhoods that gave the city character now are filled with empty, destroyed houses.
Crime, income, graduation rates — none of these improved.
The African-American community was sold out by policies doomed to fail.
These policies were not made by conservative Republicans. These policies were created by progressive think-tank Democrats.
For those of us that left Indianapolis in the 1970s and early ’80s, Hancock County was a breath of fresh air. A place of our choosing, where parents were not overruled by government.
Of course, we were looked upon as interlopers by the farming community, perhaps rightfully so.
As marginal farms sold out to developers, the price of farmland increased, and that made farming even more marginal.
The increased tax revenue from the influx of new residents also swelled the heads of county leaders.
The once conservative and frugal leadership of Hancock County started dreaming of the possibilities, forgetting what drew new residents here in the first place.