Possessed of a troubling charisma
In a March issue of the Sylva Herald, letter writer Dave Waldrop commented on the character of our former president, Donald Trump.
I agree with his basic message: He considers Trump to be unfit to once again be elected to the highest government office in our country. Essentially, I agree with Dave, but I feel he does not take his message far enough. He concludes that Trump is filled with rage, and it is this unbridled emotion that renders him unfit for office.
In actual fact, Trump has an amazing ability to appear filled with anger and contempt while speaking with his followers. He promotes rage in others, while he remains the crafty and cool speaker. To perceive him as a man who is overcome by his rage for his detractors is a mistake.
This man has a dangerous gift. He can take the discontent of the unemployed, the elderly or any group that feels disenfranchised or “marginalized,” and he can turn them into raging followers who will do his bidding. This man has a dark charisma. Beware!
Place: Sylva Public Library, Community Room
Time: Doors open at 9:30 for refreshments and mingling; Business Meeting begins at 10:00
“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.
We need legislators, not saboteurs
The new Congress just kicked off, and already Republicans like Chuck Edwards in the House are betraying the voters. When they aren’t too busy fighting among themselves, the new MAGA leadership is pushing harmful policies like cutting Social Security and Medicare, giving tax breaks to the rich, gutting the office that oversees ethics requirements, and criminalizing women’s health care.
It’s also clear that Kevin McCarthy (and the right-wing extremists that he cut a deal with to become Speaker) will spend the next two years sabotaging President Biden rather than getting anything done. Americans deserve a Congress that works for us, not just for themselves and their wealthy cronies.
Not enamored with new leadership
I hope those who voted for our new sheriff and county commissioners are happy. I see trouble ahead.
The new sheriff didn’t have the guts to personally fire employees that he no longer wanted in his new administration. He went about it by inviting those he wanted to stay to his swearing in ceremony. If you didn’t get an invitation, well you knew your fate. And it came during the holiday season. A true leader would tell the employee in person.
Concerning the newly elected commissioners, some of them don’t seem too informed. One new commissioner questioned whether the school superintendent intended to use funding to put litter boxes in schools for students who identify as animals as the Transylvania County school board supposedly voted to. Surely he knows litter boxes in schools is a social media rumor and our neighbors in Transylvania did no such thing. Elected officials need to research issues and get their facts straight and not believe everything they hear.
The new commissioners also don’t seem to keep up with what the town of Sylva is doing. When town officials presented their request for a municipal grant to fund some new art projects, some commissioners seemed to think upgrading Bryson Park was more important. Yes, that is an important project, but the mudslide above it has affected the upgrades. The town now has over $5 million to address the mudslide and the park upgrades. It has been covered in local newspapers for quite a while now. Apparently, they don’t take the time to read about local issues. And then they go so far as to say that art projects need to be “family friendly.”
There are different kinds of family structures, and art means different things to different people. Apparently they want our town and county to exclude some.
Do we really want leaders like this? Think about it next election.