And the sur­vey says?

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION - RICHARD BRADY morelchase­[email protected]; 675-3754

Ihope you have had a chance to go through some of the num­bers in last week’s Rap­pa­han­nock News. I thought the re­sults were very well laid out. I spent con­sid­er­able time with it and came away with much the same feel­ing as many peo­ple had when this thing was be­ing con­sid­ered: Much ado about noth­ing.

A num­ber of peo­ple that I talked to or heard from when the sur­vey was on the draw­ing board thought it was…how shall I say this?…kind of silly. The sen­ti­ment was that in­stead of spend­ing a boat­load of char­i­ta­ble funds, you could just ask a hand­ful of old timers and they would have told you, don’t change a thing. We like it the way it is.

Look at the num­bers on the front page of last week’s pa­per con­cern­ing change. Add the 29 per­cent who said no change is needed to the 65 per­cent who said the county should stay as it is and you get 94 per­cent of the peo­ple say­ing, ba­si­cally, leave us alone. That is an over­whelm­ing num­ber of peo­ple say­ing the same thing. Are you sur­prised? I’m not. I am sur­prised that when 94 per­cent of the peo­ple say “leave me alone,” that any­one could be­lieve that find­ing begs for more study and de­tail. In­cred­i­ble. How do you re­spond to more study? Leave me the hell alone!

Now, look at the re­sponses that have to do with the qual­ity of life here. The is­sue of “pri­vacy and be­ing left alone” gets a whop­ping 3.54 out of 4.0. Dear reader, that is 88.5 per­cent of the peo­ple say­ing that they value their pri­vacy and, again, want to be left alone. It cor­re­lates closely with the 94 per­cent men­tioned above. I can­not imag­ine this sur­prises any­one but the to­tally clue­less. Could I see a show of hands?

But noth­ing is en­tirely worth­less. At least there is some hu­mor to be found in the ra­tio­nal­iza­tions of those who didn’t like the num­bers. To para­phrase, “That needs more indepth study. I wouldn’t put much stock in that. We don’t know what peo­ple meant when they were talk­ing about pri­vacy.”

I have come to the con­clu­sion that it is en­grained in the DNA of the Foothills crew to talk down to the good peo­ple of Rap­pa­han­nock County. Again, to para­phrase, “They don’t re­ally know what ‘pri­vate’ means, be­cause we didn’t de­fine it for them.” If you could see me now, I have my in­dex fin­ger stuck about half­way down my throat. How can any­one be­lieve that this is any­thing but con­de­scend­ing horse hockey? It re­minds me of Bill Clin­ton’s re­sponse when asked about his mar­i­tal in­dis­cre­tions. He couldn’t an­swer the ques­tion be­cause he didn’t know the def­i­ni­tion of “it.”

Per­haps some­one will ex­plain to the be­wil­dered masses why any­one could think this was a good idea. I heard last week that the next project for the Foothills folk was to de­velop a ve­hi­cle so that peo­ple would know what their neigh­bors are think­ing. Is there no end to this folly? Here is a novel thought: If you must know what your neigh­bor is think­ing, try ask­ing him. Are they go­ing to waste even more money to pro­vide us with the an­swer to this mys­tery?

I la­ment, again, what a shame­ful waste of char­i­ta­ble funds. You will have to ex­cuse me now while I get my dic­tionary out and look up “pri­vacy.” I seem to have forgotten what it means. I in­vite those who think there is any­thing new or of any value in this en­deavor to look up “un-freak­ing-be­liev­able.”

I in­vite those who think there is any­thing new or of any value in this en­deavor to look up “un-freak­ing-be­liev­able.”

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