Courtesy of Disney’s Alice in wonderland
Someone stirred the embers of John Sweeney’s soul. They shouldn’t have…. Sometimes it IS better to rest on one’s laurels…
In a News Journal op-ed Mr.Sweeney tries to shame the Democratic Party… It is worth the read, for in its chutzpah, it reminds old timers still left, of how the very brave Poles road their horses with swords drawn in calvary formation towards the fully armored German Panzer divisions attacking them….
On the rank of futility, his efforts are similar. On the rank of bravery, his efforts are similar.
I think what we are experiencing is the passage of one century into another… Mr. Sweeney is a product of the last century. Things were very different then from how they are today. As one ages one is prone to becomes sentimental, and emotional, and embrace those good things they remember in ones youth…. As a result those things called facts, which depart from the other side of the brain, get vetoed out of existence in editing, and their interference with a fictions narrative is negated…
We get a nice story that if it stayed on the porch in the company of old men rocking their hours away, would remain that, a nice mixture of observation and opinion….
The problem is that this is not staying on the old folks home porch, but is attempting to interject itself into policy and plans for our future. Therefore, it must also be served alongside a complete rebuttal, so that policy makers are given a clear view or our future, both the dreams and reality, and not just the one sided wistfulness of one single old man.
Mr. Sweeney remembers Wilmington of a different era… 1973…. He doesn’t remember it very well for his piece is entirely devoid of any mention of the riots and subsequent war zone imposed on the city of Wilmington 5 years just before. He conviently fails to even mention the despondency of that time captured by then City Supervisor O. Francis Biondi in his telling the New York Times, “the National Guard here has become a symbol of white suppression of the black community. That may be a useful way to get elected, but who wants to run a city under those circumstances?”
He also fails to bring up the Court ordered desegregation rule that evolved from the ashes of that occupation and racial pot stirring. A rule that has the blessing of no political party, and still is the predominant problem underlying New Castle County’s education today..
These alone throw cold water on his assertions that life was ideal back in 1973. Just maybe… if you were a wealthy white; but certainly not for any black… Sweeney simply sweeps all blacks aside as he continues his claim.
Let us take and break down his opening paragraph….
- Is Wilmington a better place to live today than it was in 1973? Why, yes. Yes it is.
- Is crime worse or better? Crime is better. Despite overall shootings in and among drug traffickers, all other crimes are fractions of what they were in 1973.
Are the schools better? Public schools are; particularly for those of Afro-American descent who come from the city. Charter schools suck though.
- Are more kids going to college? More kids are going to college than back in 1973. And at higher percentages too.
- Is business booming?Walk down market street some evening and tell me. Yes, business is as good, if not better than before the ’68 riots.
- Is the city’s future brighter? We have the Riverfront, a baseball team, a civic center, a walk along the river. A very attractive city. Market Street, an Art School. Two state universities and a state college. I would certainly say our city if much brighter than 5 years after we had our national guard overextend their record.
So even his opening assertions, which he never attempts to defend, are at their very starting place, horribly misconceived…
If ones entire premise is horribly misconstrued, then everything afterwards is such as well… Were anyone to make a mistake and use sand instead of flour to make bread, their end product would not be bread would it not? Logic works the same way….
The second gigantic flaw in Mr. Sweeney’s reasoning just oozes out of this statement right here…. (I should warn readers that even in Sweeney’s advanced age, two parts of what he will ring true… both are about his abysmal party, the Republicans…) ==“The easy – and accurate – answer is that there are barely any Republicans left in town. A second – and only slightly more complicated – answer is that the Republicans of late have shown little interest in cities and their problems. The final answer comes directly from the first two: Since the Republicans are no threat, the Democrats do not have to do anything to retain the voters loyalty. They will win automatically.
Did you catch the flaw? If not, allow me to point it out.. Mr. Sweeney seems to totally forget something called “primary elections” Perhaps he can be forgiven for that; Republicans have only had a few primaries in my entire lifetime, and they were only because of Mike Protack. Yet Democratic primaries have been some of the closest, competitive, promise driven contests in this state. If you are voted in, and don’t listen to your constituents, you are going to face 11 challenger for your seat the next session… Hell, the only way to get re-elected in this town, is once lucky enough to get in, you take damn good care of your client base….. And as Mr. Sweeney himself points out, those clients aren’t Republican voters…
You see, Wilmington voters are not voters who follow party rule as Mt. Sweeney so blandly assumes. The reasons they don’t vote for Republicans is because Repulbicans don’t care about them. Republicans only care about big money and is why they can’t get votes in Wilmington. Party has nothing to do with it. In fact you could make Wilmington flip Republican in just one election cycle. Just run a Republican who says he is going to tax Charlie Copeland and his friends 100% out the gazoo. Then you would find it was the issues keeping Republicans off the roster, not the name of their party… Republicans can’t get elected because they are wrong for Wilmington.
Yet Mr. Sweeney makes no mention of that either… And here is where Mr. Sweeney loses it.
He blames Barack Obama. Yep, blame the black man not just for this cities problems, but all cities problems… In his statement that all cities have democratic mayors and Barack Obama is not helping them, her forgets a couple of other observations by which only his statements could have the hint of truth.
He forgets that prior to Barack Obama, there was George W. Bush, a Republican, and he ignored cities too. (Remember New Orleans?) He forgets that not all mayors are Democrats. There are Republican mayors too… New York, Fresno, Miami, Mesa, Tulsa, Virginia Beach, are just a few Republican mayors experiencing the same city problems as is Wilmington. The truth is, that running a city on cutting taxes, getting rid of government, and instilling disciplined religion in all aspects of life, is a very hard sell. The reason almost all town mayors are Democratic, is because Democrats are the only ones who make sense. So if one has Republican mayors and a Republican Executive Branch, and a Republican State government, and still have the same problems, Sweeney’s argument is completely undercut.
He also seems to have had a tad memory slip up, and has forgotten that despite Democrats holding the presidency, and despite the Senate being blue, there is a Republican house. which has proposed nothing, and which has voted down every expenditure brought before it, even Hurricane Sandy aid. (It took Democrats to finally get that passed). With political realities like that, making grandiose plans that never get off the ground is nothing but an exercise in futility. Sweeney fails to mention the elephant in the room: that there can and will be no help for cities as long as they is not a super-majority of Democrats in both houses…
In a complete disembowelment of disbelief, Sweeney states that national politicians have stopped wooing City voters. Two things are missing on Sweeney’s radar. One, Republicans have tried to make inner city voting next to impossible by limiting voting machines and forcing intimidating long lines, and two, it is the growth of urban areas that propelled Democrats in every state. All states have counties red and blue. If a state is more urban, it’s blueness wins out…and more than anything, that is why Republicans are losing.
It is no ones fault but their own…
Is anyone shaping Wilmington’s future Sweeney asks? It is bizarre questioning, because Sweeney already answered it….
In some areas, the city is safer. In others, there are more jobs. Certainly, some schools are better today than they were in 1973. And individual organizations and people, including elected officials, have worked hard and have put together effective coalitions. The Financial Center Development Act brought new banking and credit-card jobs to town, a federal judge desegregated the area’s schools, the decaying dock areas were redeveloped into the Riverfront, with an I-Max movie theater, a convention center and a host of new businesses and condos and apartments
I’d say we had some good plans for our future. We’ve come a long way since 1973…
Is Wilmington better off? Hell yes… If so, that makes Sweeney’s argument that we need to go back to 1973 rather pointless and odd. I can think of no afro-American who wants things returned to 1973….
In the end, Sweeney’s arguement breaks down. We should have one political party he says, and that should include Democrats and Republicans. Well, (confused) that’s what you’ve been complaining over what we had?
Since Sweeney’s arguments boggle th logical mind, I struggle to find a box to put them in. At best, it is someone wistful of their younger days, of back when they were in power and who wishes their privileged class like that of Nicholas and Alexander, could once again rein supreme and not have to deal with “those people”…
The rest of us, are better off with all we got since then.
What do you think?