To the Editor:

“Elect clowns, expect a circus.”

Many of us are familiar with this phrase, and are used to seeing it play out on the national stage with professional comedians like Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and their ilk grinding the wheels of democracy to a halt with their buffoonery. Unfortunately, two articles from last week’s Herald have shown that the fairy-tale Republican trickle-down theory does indeed exist, but not in the financial form they would have you believe.

I have always been impressed by the bipartisan support that our county leaders have given to the local schools, but newly seated commissioner Todd Bryson has shown that may not be the case going forward. After requesting that previously approved funds be released to the school system, Bryson brought up the nonsensical, easily disproved right-wing myth of litter boxes being approved and paid for by schools for the use of students.

Superintendent Dana Ayers handled this exchange with humor and class, but the fact that Bryson raised such a ridiculous claim leaves one of two possibilities. Either he truly believes this conspiracy theory and feels he is protecting his constituents from the dangers of kitty litter and the taxpayers from an extravagant expense, or he knows better and is intent on generating fake outrage and is a ready and willing participant in the culture wars that divide us more each day. Neither possibility serves the citizens of Jackson County.

Bryson and other newcomers also balked at the request of new downtown art; inquiring whether it will be “family-friendly” and implying that they are the ones to make that judgment. If they are truly interested in the integrity of downtown art, they should start with the Jim Crow abomination just steps away from the public library. It is far past time to remove the monument built by racists, to glorify racists, to celebrate their racism, after they started a war to fight for their right to be racist. And no, altering the plaque and language on the statue does not change these facts.

Andy Barber, Cullowhee