“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
As we look at all the turmoil, gridlock, anger, shortsighted arguments, petty politics and confusing maneuvering in Middletown Borough, we just want it to stop. It seems when our local leaders can’t win on the issues they go after the individual or try mixing and muddling facts. It’s a slight of hand artist’s dream come true.
These same officials also fall over themselves in proclamations of their attentiveness to citizens’ questions and concerns. Sadly more and more citizens express their frustrations to us - about repeated calls to both elected and appointed borough officials that go unanswered, about how they’re unable to make any sense, let alone follow obfuscated procedures supposedly emplaced for their own good.
There is also a growing list of people who have been targeted by this group of elected officials who are shamefully servile and silent during most, if not all public meetings.
If you don't believe a transparent and ethical local government is important enough to fight for, then I don’t have any way to influence how you think about the process. But important decisions within our local government should be based on a free and open democratic process - a system which currently doesn't exist in Middletown.
The central question that citizens in Middletown have to face through all this is: are the issues you believe in worth fighting for?
Don’t get disgusted and tune it out. If you feel passionately about any public issue enough to vote, contribute, attend a meeting, write a letter, or complain to your friends and family, then we must work together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.
We must always remember that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to publicly argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots, and to have a say in how they are governed.
Isn’t that worth fighting for?