I was thinking about the differing responses in our community in Charleston, not the response in faraway cities. Thanks for reminding me, some anti-Trump protesters are indeed behaving violentlybut there's always a violent faction in every group. Not every conservative bombs abortion clinics.
But the main point is, we all need to calm down and reach out to each other, and be aware that civil liberties and institutions need to be defended, because a threat to one is a threat to all.
The apprehensive reaction to the Trump presidency is different from the fear Obama's election engendered in two critical respects.
First, Obama, a Harvard Law alumnus and seasoned Democrat, gave no real reason to be afraid. President-Elect Trump, on the other hand, is a self-centered fear-mongering plutocrat, with no experience compromising the way political leaders of pluralistic societies, by definition, must.
Second, the Trump-fearers are not buying up guns and ammo or joining hate groups. We are joining community outreach groups, wearing safety pins, and writing poems, and trying to understand what's bothering the Trump voter so much. And when the call for religious minorities to register is announced, we will all go and register.
City Paper's endorsement are bewildering. If you don't want Nikki Haley, how do you endorse anybody but Sheheen? You deride him as a waffler, while the candidate you endorse switched from Democrat to Republican. Even if this made sense, Haley's strongest opponent will need every possible vote if she's to be unseated. And if you don't want Sanford, how do you not write in Cherny even if his economic policies are "too far-fetched to do any good in Congress?" What are those ideas, and how are they far-fetched? And where is the research on these school board candidates, given the recent controversies involving our public schools?
For twenty years the LA Weekly was my guidepost for elections, with thoughtful reporting and analysis of every candidate's position on everything. Her sister paper could do a lot of good in a one-paper town, but this is mediocrity on wheels.
McConnell would be perfect to head CofC, for all the wrong reasons. We need our universities to lead us into a complex future, and McConnell represents an oversimplified past when planters had absolute control over the lives of everybody else. While both of these schools have diversified their faculties and student bodies, they also have real problems coping with this diversity, and McConnell is no more fit to solve these kinds of problems than any lawmaker who thinks forbidding life drawing or censoring books will lead us forward.
So what if folks in the City Proper or in the upstate supposedly want this road? They won't have to live with a freeway going through their back yard, breathe the polluted air from traffic idling from Calhoun Street to River Road, listen to the engines, or have the oily stormwaters wash up onto their banks. They won't lose their dog park or their swimming pool or their quaint country neighborhoods and the neighbors that live there. Their properties will not lose value with a freeway running through them.
I-526 won't help traffic, it will bring development. Charleston doesn't need more housing units in a glutted market, nor more bottom-feeding service and retail jobs. We need to fix the downtown flooding. We need to capitalize on our burgeoning ability to attract cultured, entrepreneurial youth and experienced retirees to our beautiful town, so let's augment public transportation and green infrastructure. Let's embrace Charleston's future and not stubbornly adhere to misguided commitments to an ugly, expensive, and obsolete travel experience.
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