Editorials - Aug. 26, 2021
Curb your Trump support
In what could have been mistaken for a lost episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the show’s star Larry David recently “screamed” at Alan Dershowitz outside of a grocery store in Martha’s Vineyard. While the two were once friends, it seems that Dershowitz’s defence of Donald Trump and friendship with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is beyond David’s ability to overlook for the sake of old pals.
Dershowitz has long been a polarizing figure in the American justice system for his brilliant legal mind and successful legal defence of controversial characters, including Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. While no video of the spat has surfaced, an anonymous reporter uploaded a transcript of the exchange and the internet has had a field day. David was in no mood for forgiveness for Dershowitz’ involvement in the Trump camp, reportedly yelling “It’s disgusting. Your whole enclave; it’s disgusting. You’re disgusting!” David’s fans loved the exchange, drawing obvious parallels to the show. Dershowitz’s supporters on the other hand have made fun of the degree of anger in David’s rebuke.
While Dershowitz has worked for the Democrats in the past, including Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, and he claims to be a card-carrying member of the party who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, his friendship with Pompeo, defence of Trump during his first impeachment trial and support of Trump’s rally speech before the storming of The Capitol seem to go against the grain of the liberal side of his character. The entire exchange has demonstrated that actions tend to overshadow beliefs in the court of public opinion, and apparently with personal relationships. – DS
A time to be bold
In Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Captain Oliver Queenan asks new recruit Billy Costigan, “do you want to be a cop, or do you want to appear to be a cop?” It’s an honest question, he says, intimating that some people really want to do police work, whether the world knows it or not, while others want everyone to know they’re a police officer, while their actual impact on the community may be negligible.
As Huron County Council asked for potential solutions to two of the most pressing issues facing the county - soaring housing costs and rampant homelessness - but then dismissed several sensible, reasoned potential solutions, it’s fair to wonder if the county wants to solve these problems, or just appear as though council is trying to solve them, biding their time, waiting for upper-tier government white knights.
Last month, council turned its nose up at several options that would put a roof over the heads of many experiencing homelessness and the creation of a housing development corporation that would create at-cost homes for Huron County residents at a time when the average local home inches further out of the reach of the average local family.
The proposals weren’t perfect, nor were they cheap, but they represented the necessary out-of-the-box thinking needed when tackling such complex issues. However, whether some councillors just think people can just ride it out or that a big money shipment is coming from the federal and provincial governments, they didn’t seem interested in doing anything different to solve the problems.
Fixing these issues will be hard and likely expensive. Our local politicians can’t afford to close their eyes and hope the issues will disappear. Bold action requires making bold decisions. – SL
Mask up for change
In a week when schools across the U.S. were, at best, dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks caused when schools reopened and, at worst, seeing fatalities as a result, protestors in Louisiana found themselves in a Catch-22: they couldn’t protest mask mandates without wearing masks.
With chants of “Freedom”, and cacophonous responses every time the need to mask up was mentioned, a group of protestors brought a Louisiana state school board meeting to a halt last week. The protest came as school boards across the U.S. have been debating whether or not masks would be necessary in classrooms. However, the school board decided, instead, to adjourn the meeting since members of the group decided not to adhere to the very mask requirement that they were there to protest. Despite some members of the group saying they would wear a mask to discuss the issue, the board adjourned the meeting, which resulted in the protest continuing outside the building.
The incident highlights an important aspect of lobbying for change and that’s respecting the rules while doing so. With the exception of revolution-inspiring situations, if a law, rule or mandate needs to be changed, the way to enact that change isn’t to break the law, but to respect it and follow it until that change can be made.
The protestors in Louisiana may get their chance to convince the school board that masks aren’t necessary, but only if they put a mask on to do so. While it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to change a rule is to follow it until it’s no longer necessary to do so. – JDS