At the April 9th Council meeting, I introduced a new word that will help people understand the source of some of the more sleazy aspects of Snellville politics. That word is SWIL, which is an acronym for Sleazes, Weasels, Inbreds and Liars. Recently, there has been some new SWIL activity, so I thought this would be a good time to introduce the subject, and offer an imaginary scenario of a SWIL at work. (There are several active SWILs in the area, most of them members of the not-so-good ol’-boy group that longs for the days when they had things their own way.)
Typically, SWILs like to work in the shadows and keep their sleazy, weasely activities out of sight until they’re ready to slip it into public view. Sometimes they send messengers to do their dirty work, sometimes they use the Post Office to deliver it (while they hide behind fake return addresses) and on rare occasions, they encourage under-achieving SWILs to crawl out of the shadows and stand in the light of day. Even if you didn’t know what they are called, you’ve all seen SWILs before—you’ve even heard a few of them speak at City Hall. But you may not be familiar with some of the ways they operate, so here’s a little bit of insight.
A favorite SWIL tactic is to state a fact or two that leads people to believe something is true—when it is actually false. They do this by leaving out or twisting the information that tells the true story. As an example, picture a SWIL– let’s call him Douglas. Douglas wants to cause problems for someone he doesn’t agree with, so when he hears a story about a transaction, he slithers off to plant the seeds of deception.
For our brief journey into SWILdom, we’ll make up a situation (in this case a transaction) and then put a SWIL spin on it. Our imaginary transaction involves the SWIL’s adversary offering to buy some sign brackets. The owner of the brackets delivered them, but had decided to donate them and refused payment. Pretty simple. But when Douglas tells the story he states, “Bill (name changed to protect the innocent) offered to buy some brackets and they were delivered to him. But you know what? That son-of-a-gun never paid for them.
Those are all true statements. But by leaving out the fact that seller had told Bill to forget about payment because he was donating the brackets, Douglas made an honest and forthright transaction seem shady and dishonest. Playing SWIL games is even easier with political issues because they’re usually complicated, which provides numerous opportunities to leave out information.
When election time rolls around, you can rest assured that the SWILs will be in high gear. But in Snellville, you never have to wait very long for some SWIL handiwork to rear its ugly head. And I have no doubt that you’ll be reading about some of it in an upcoming edition of Council Confidential.