The un­washed and un­e­d­u­cated

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT • NATURE - RichaRd BRady

Sev­eral weeks ago, the owner of the Rap­pa­han­nock News wrote an ed­i­to­rial about the out­come of the bike trail is­sue, and how he thought the loser of the ar­gu­ment were the peo­ple of the county, who would not get to en­joy the ben­e­fits of the trail.

Up to that point, I thought the pa­per had done a rea­son­ably good job of re­main­ing neu­tral about the bike trail, so I was a lit­tle sur­prised and a bit dis­ap­pointed. But at least Mr. Brack’s ed­i­to­rial was civil. I thought the tim­ing was a bit strange since it brought this con­tentious is­sue to the fore­front again as it was be­gin­ning to die out. But, if you own the pa­per, you darn well ought to be able to say what you want to say in your own ed­i­to­rial. In a later ar­ti­cle, I re­spect­fully dis­agreed with the ed­i­to­rial.

Then Mr. Nick­lin chimes in. In what, I as­sume, was an at­tempt at world­li­ness, his words come off as con­de­scend­ing. The heart­felt ob­jec­tions of the cit­i­zens op­posed to the idea of a bike trail he writes off as ra­tio­nal­iza­tions. And then he lumps all the op­po­si­tion as un­e­d­u­cated. If this is his at­tempt to put the is­sue to rest, he not only missed the broad side of a barn, he demon­strates very clearly that he doesn’t have any idea what the barn looks like.

This is what I mean by that last sen­tence: They don’t “get it.” They don’t un­der­stand, and prob­a­bly never will, the feel­ings that many of us op­posed to “im­prove­ments” like the bike trail have for Rap­pa­han­nock County.

As for me, I am only too glad to cast my lot with the un­e­d­u­cated and un­clean masses, such as the ar­tic­u­late Mr. Ben Jones, for one, and my neigh­bor, Mr. Ron Maxwell, for an­other. You see, Mr. Jones, Mr. Maxwell and oth­ers like Mr. Billy Way­land and a large num­ber of our cit­i­zens “get it.” They un­der­stand what the un­clean and un­e­d­u­cated masses meant when they re­sponded to a fool­ish and ju­ve­nile ques­tion­naire with an em­phatic, “just leave me the hell alone.”

And so, I will leave you with my grave con­cern for the fu­ture of Rap­pa­han­nock County. Fel­low cit­i­zens, be ex­traor­di­nar­ily care­ful when you are choos­ing in­di­vid­u­als to be placed in po­si­tions of lead­er­ship. In my worst night­mares,

I see the bull­doz­ers and ex­ca­va­tors lin­ing up at the county bor­der. Take a look at what is hap­pen­ing in Culpeper County with their re­zon­ing and ca­pit­u­la­tions by those who were put there to pro­tect the county. Just fol­low the money. There are peo­ple among us who would sell this county out in the blink of an eye if it meant their pock­ets would be lined.

I am too old and too tired to join this bat­tle for much longer, ex­cept in the faintest of ways. But if enough of you who “get it” con­tinue to stand up and be counted, ei­ther in your vot­ing or your will­ing­ness to come out and let your voices be heard at pub­lic meet­ings, maybe the wolf can be held off a bit longer, or at least per­suaded to look else­where.

I trust your hol­i­days and cel­e­bra­tions brought you joy and shared love of fam­ily and friends. If we are lucky, we will be able to wish the same to each other in an­other year. But I say that know­ing that we lost a lot of good men and women this year. God bless you, and God bless this lit­tle piece of heaven we call home. May it thus for­ever be.

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