Taking Atlanta back to a simpler age a simple-minded idea

Editor’s note: This editorial appeared on the combined The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution editorial page of Sun., Sept. 4, 1966.

It may have been just a slip but we suspect that one opponent of Congressman Charles Weltner revealed what was on the minds of a good many other politicians when he said he would like to put “Atlanta back the way it used to be 20 years ago.”

Ah, 1946.

He may be right, so we hereby suggest a Backward Atlanta program.

We’ll have to shoo away about 700,000 people of course.

We’ll have to cut everybody’s real income at least in half.

We’ll have to buy a lot of wrecking balls to swing against the tall buildings. Perhaps with our new congressman we can get federal aid for wrecking balls.

We’ll have to rip out all the expressways and put back the streetcar tracks. At least now we will not have to worry so much about rapid transit, finding land for real estate development, and other troublesome results of these last 20 years’ slide into socialism.

We’ll have to have a new demagogue training school, because lately there has been something of a reduction of the real seasoned kinds of demagogues we used to have so many of back in 1946.

How about an illiteracy and bad-health program? We could call it the pro-poverty war. It could coordinate efforts to cut down on the literacy and spread old-style health problems around, in order to put things back the way they were 20 years ago.

Let’s cut back sharply on all business payrolls and profits in order to eliminate all those pesky business and industrial expansions that Progress brought us, and let’s also whack down the workmen’s compensation benefits, and let’s get back to good, old-fashioned, standard unfair hiring practices.

We consider this a splendid, well-defined backward-looking program.

Backward Atlanta.