Wrong ideas


By on Wed, July 8, 2009

A woman came up to me and said, "I’d like to poison your mind
with wrong ideas that appeal to you, though I am not unkind."

—They Might Be Giants, "Whistling in the Dark"

"Whatever their motivation, a fear of change or something more ominous, they have hidden their agenda behind a shield…"

—Jim Larimer, referring to "No Growthers"

"Wrong ideas that appeal to you" is a pretty good description of Jim Larimer’s column in last week’s Review.

Larimer’s column is a rickety confection of name calling ("NIMBY"), scapegoating ("plans for the school were crushed"), demonization ("Do they fear of the type of people who might choose to live here?"), ad hominem ("hidden agendas"), peculiar reasoning ("No growthers", like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, have hidden agendas and are therefore like slaveholders), and old-fashioned hoodoo ("Whatever their motivation, a fear of change or something more ominous").

There’s a word for that: Propaganda.

His faulty reasoning is supported by a muddle of wrong ideas about who "crushed" the middle school at Wavecrest (it was the US Army Corps of Engineers), who "sponsors" Big Wave (it’s a couple of guys who stand to make millions), why Big Wave has little community support (it’s just plain huge), the wisdom of the county’s Midcoast Local Coastal Program (the county’s version was the last minute rewrite), and who was responsible for the US Civil War (hint: it wasn’t Madison and Jefferson).

There are two opposing viewpoints on the Coastside. Both sides believe the Coastside can be a better place. One side believes that this can be achieved through respect for the local environment and the rule of law (the Coastal Act, state and federal environmental regulations, and local planning and zoning), and the other believes something else.

Like Dr. Larimer, I recommend you vote accordingly.