It truly amazes me as I watched Thursday night. It didn’t matter what facts, history or statistics were provided to the anti-historic preservationists; they were not going to stray from their mantra, “This will take away property rights”.
Facts showed clearly this was not the issue.
Facts showed clearly that the LHD is a local tool to protect ‘everyone’s’ property rights.
Facts showed that zoning can not stop the destruction of our city’s historic assets.
Facts show that LHD’s are enshrined in state law and have been thoroughly vetted all the way to the Supreme Court.
History showed clearly that we were not doing just fine but are suffering a heavy increase in demolitions.
History showed clearly that we were not a financially healthy city before the downtown was restored.
History showed clearly that it was a small group of dedicated historic preservationists who suffered much opposition that saved Newburyport and began us on a path of economic stability.
Statistics show quite clearly the recorded benefits from having local historic districts and from the smooth operation of the present one in the city.
Statistics show that LHD’s do not have the disastrous affect on a community that the opponents claim.
And yet, as soon as these were shown, the ‘believers’ blinked it all away and began to repeat their mantra’s again. Nothing could move them or persuade them.
That is why we have gone beyond rational politics – we are in a make or break situation within our city and this has gone to the level of full-scale fanaticism.
I encourage most citizens not to be sucked into the maelstrom of extremism.
They will make untrue statements, silly arguments, and rely on pure emotion to persuade others. They will try to reshape history and reality and science to conform to their belief system. And we know from current events, great destruction comes from such actions. Religious artifacts that support Jewish history are being destroyed so Islam will prosper. Buddhist statues are considered a threat and blown up.
In Newburyport, they make statements such as we have always been affluent and nothing can be shown that is contrary to that fiction. Statements will be claimed and no one must dare counter them with inconvenient facts.
Heavens what the city councilors must be thinking as they are faced with such irrationality!