My last post produced some rather interesting responses that were very troubling, at least to me. This city used to be a hot bed for politics – one side debating against the other with both doing (if they had a case) a fine job passionately debating the issues with pro’s and con’s, supporting facts and often with painful compromise.
Our Central Waterfront is a fine example of this where democracy works. Yes, I know, hard to believe, but it works. It’s messy but that’s the way things get done in a free society.
You’ve probably heard many cry out that there is no resolution – but wait. If you look at the dilapidated construction site in 1970 pictures, you can clearly see compared to the present – that much has been done! There are gardens, and memorials, park land and trees, and along the water there is a boardwalk and more memorials and more gardens and art sculptures all set in lovely landscaping. And though we’re stuck with parking lots, there are regular spaces for the cars, and lovely public ways to the water.
All that discourse produced what we see today. Yes, there is figuratively blood spilt for every step we take on the waterfront; but that is not what our visitors see or our locals enjoy.
So I was very grieved when my blog produced the accusation of being salacious. In essence, salacious is sexual conversation with lots of lewd detail not appropriate in public discourse. In my blog, I cited many reasons why there should be a replacement for the Mayor with many supporting points. In essence the reader is saying, “Shut up, I don’t want to hear it.”
What the reader and those similar in response are saying is that we don’t want to hear anything negative. We want to go on without question, always looking for the positive; always assuming the best intent in anyone’s actions. Not capable of thinking evil, they assume no one else is doing evil. And if someone brings up something unpleasant no matter how true, they turn away.
By these, demagogues and tyrants thrive.
Today, being Pollyannaish means someone who is absurdly optimistic and good-hearted believing in a good world where everything works out for the best all the time. It is derived from Eleanor H. Porter’s famous novel, Pollyanna, published in 1913 and later turned into a Disney movie. The character, Pollyanna had an outlook on life of absolute optimism and whose problems were always straightened out in the end.
Unfortunately, in the real world; it takes a lot of effort with setbacks galore to get things straightened out and often times the end is just ever beyond the reach.
The Bible says that great evil comes from the love of money and that is what is being displayed today in Newburyport. Facing this legion of money lovers are the citizens of Newburyport who value quality of life. This great war has many battles won and lost and has been going on since the Sixties.
But the lovers of money are very clever and are counting on Pollyannaish citizens who want to hear nothing but happy thoughts. These residents are not evil in themselves, in fact, far from it – but by their turning away from the real issues facing our city, they become an accessory to the evil acts.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”