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Friday, October 25, 2013

Bully them if they're right

Commenter bullies

We read that bullying isn't acceptable in schools and that it’s wrong in the workplace. What about bullying those who disagree politically? For a small group of haters in Costa Mesa, that bullying is acceptable.

If someone states that street and curb repairs, park maintenance and Westside development are all good for Costa Mesa they will be bullied. They’ll be ostracized, criticized, and marginalized by our local haters. Why? Because the Mayor and Pro Tem are driving the improvements.

The haters are (political) bigots. Their bigotry is simple – if the Mayor and Pro Tem are involved it’s bad regardless of the benefit for the City.


The Pro Tem is walking down every street in the City, and the Mayor is visiting neighborhood after neighborhood with a Meet the Mayor program. The idea, in both cases, is to find out what is really going on in the city and what the citizens’ concerns are. What’s wrong with seeking the facts before making decisions? Back to the bigoted premise; the Mayor and Pro Tem are involved so it’s time to “bully the blighters.”

The bullies use attacks on personal lives, innuendos about (supposed) beliefs and ridicule of lifestyles. Personal attacks are all that the haters can muster because the value of infrastructure improvements can’t be argued.

An old malady

Costa Mesa’s haters aren't unique, just mildly annoying and sometimes amusing. (See Council Comments video Here.) There’s even a term for their affliction, coined many years ago. Xenophobia is the “unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.” Infrastructure improvements are foreign concepts to the haters.

Look at how the parks and roads and alleys were neglected, ignored, and unfunded when previous Council majorities set the priorities. Pontification and pandering from the dais didn't ensure street and alley maintenance, it just wasted money. One presumes the haters were happy as the Reserves drained away and politicians emoted tearfully from the dais. Now things are getting done, which upsets the haters.

Fear of that which differs

Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of one group toward another, including suspicion of the other’s activities and aggression toward those perceived as different.

The Pro Tem developed COIN (Civic Openness In Negotiation). It is being studied and copied throughout the state, and to some degree by cities in other states. The haters vehemently opposed this ordinance. After ferociously disputing and resisting COIN they now complain that it doesn't go far enough!  

Perhaps the haters should muster the discipline and political will to extend transparency to our other money-spending activities, if that’s what they really want. They can have credit for the “ON4-1/5” or Open Negations for (the final) one-fifth” of City expenses.

Not kid stuff but childish

Bullying isn't acceptable for adults. But for the haters, it’s all there is. Their diatribe is mostly ignored, so maybe we should call it attempted bullying.

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