In a December 22, 2012 Scottsdale Republic editorial, new guy Grant Martin used one of his, “4 Wishes, St Nick, For You To Deliver to Scottsdale,” to request,
Civility in our political discourse
It would have been nice to see the juvenile rancor that dominates much of our local debates come to an abrupt end on Election Day. But that’s almost as quixotic and naive as, well, thinking you exist. If we can keep our discourse refined and our disagreements respectful, our community will be an even better place for it.
As you’ve heard me say before, I’d take every bit of the “civil dialog” lip service being bandied about by politicians and political wannabes like those in Scottsdale Leadership, and trade it for some good old-fashioned, basic honesty.
Like during the recent campaign when I presented to the voters factual information about Scottsdale’s $8 million budget deficit, and our billion dollars’ worth of debt. Jim Lane called those facts, “ridiculous rhetoric.” Where was the Republic then? Scottsdale Leadership? Not a peep.
I’ve spoken with Scottsdale Republic news editor Chris Coppolo about the budget several times. No interest.
Lane’s re-election a “top story?”
In the same edition of the Republic, self-titled Scottsdale “consultant” and political crony of Lane’s, Ray Torres asserts,
Re-electing the honorable Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane is one of the top stories. The voters embraced his leadership and direction of the city. Not as visible as some highly negative headlines, the robust and private investment-fueled local economic engine produced growth and jobs.
Desert Discovery Center?
Likewise, Scottsdale teacher and frequent political commentator (but never seen at City Hall), Dave Bachmann, said,
In a city that often seems disproportionately concerned with the demands of developers, Scottsdale occasionally gets it right and does something noble and worthy of its reputation as a trendsetter among its sister cities, namely, securing large tracts of desert and preserving them for future generations. As you may have heard, they’re not making any more land and Scottsdale’s preservation of this national (yes, national) treasure says a lot about our city’s priorities. Now we just need to get our civic leaders to invest the same kind of enthusiasm for a Desert Discovery Center that they do for downtown development.
Yeah, that’s just what we need: The folks who brought us the Downtown Infill Incentive District turning their attention northward. The current iteration of the double-digit-millions DDC is completely contrary to the mission of the Preserve, and we can’t afford it anyway.
These comments by Grant Martin, Ray Torres, and Dave Bachmann remind me of a quote:
Where misunderstanding serves others as an advantage, one is helpless to make oneself understood.
Lionel Trilling, 1905-1975, American author, teacher, and literary critic.
If the folks who are promoting “civil dialog” don’t ever really listen (and thus take action on what they hear), why should the rest of us be “civil?”
Not to mention the biggest civil-discourse hypocrisy story of 2012, the failure of the newspaper and of Scottsdale Leadership to condemn the seriously uncivil print and cable TV campaign targeting Council candidate (now Councilman-elect!) Guy Phillips.