Dust Unsettled

Todays winners were yesterdays and will be tomorrows losers.

San Clemente, once a sleepy surf town at the southernmost tip of Orange County, California has become a hotbed of controversy. Neighbor against neighbor, children ordered to avoid their friends, grown people throwing feces at the house next door or committing misdemeanors in the name of politics. Not what you would expect in an otherwise small friendly town populated with college-educated professionals and business owners.

What Happened?

What is it they say about”One Bad Apple?” So many of us aspire, or pretend to aspire to the idyllic ideals of the 60’s phenomenon. We sell ourselves on the idea that we support and live by selfless priority. Our actions indicate otherwise. In fact, not many of us consider the greater good in daily decision making. If we did, we’d all take the bus or ride a bike to work. We’re extremely selfish in deed and dangerously manipulative in practice. Yet we want to think better of ourselves so we tout the ideals of an era that came as close as any to actually caring about global peace and the world as a whole.

Under the social microscope in relation to larger metropolitan areas, San Clementians appear to be small fish in a small pond.  Easily fooled by demagogues.  Yet more troubling through it’s transparency here is the apathy on one end of the spectrum, and blind faith on the other. Our forefathers risked life and limb so you could speak your mind. In fact, our soldiers are still fighting to the death so that you can choose between McDonald’s or Burger King.

Let me put it this way, our nation will fail if we, as it’s citizens do not participate. Our country was built on your right to choose. That freedom comes with a responsibility. If we are not willing to honor that responsibility, then we will most certainly lose. If you say “My Vote Doesn’t Matter”, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

Here’s the dig. YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!!!

Use your own eyes and ears to absorb the information.  Use your own mind to parse the data.  Trust your instincts.  The messages often are convuleted or corrupted by the messenger.  Get a sense about the messenger.  Manipulating emotion is standard business practice, designed to trick you into making decisions without actually thinking it out.  Don’t allow others to manipulate your emotions.  They know you, they know how to flip you, don’t let them.

POSTSCRIPT

Amazing ride. Protagonists, antagonists, passion, hostility, clandestine operations, derision, deception, “Spins”, petitions, court rulings, and finally a controversial ballot measure where 50% of the voters in the city participated in a Primary election. Any pollster will tell you that is a high percentage for any election, but particularly so for a primary. Ultimately there was a victor and the defeated. In the case of Measure C, San Clemente, what does the victory mean? You saved open space? You prevented traffic congestion? Maybe, maybe not. I wish that for just one election people would actually read up on an issue and not just the signs along the side of the road. A victory for the NO’s here means that the patch of dirt on Vista Hermosa/La Pata will remain so for many years to come, that a new Senior Center will not be built anytime in the near future, nor the wall necessary to complete the new fire station. Parents will still have to drive their sports playing children to Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano because the city they live in won’t accomodate them. We’ll stay the same, stagnant. We will have Charles Mann’s favorite nine-holes. Unless of course the club closes. Hooray.

I wish you would just die – (Sun Post – 6/24/2007)

The battle has become more important than the cause for the opponents of the Pacific Golf project. Sadly evidenced in this cryptic quote from a petitioner and directed at one of Pacific’s supporters.

You could minimize the intent by saying it was in the heat of the moment, but the truth is that this Pacific supporter was quietly standing near when the opponent in question stated coldly and deliberately, “I haven’t wished this on anyone, but I wish you would just die.” The two had never before met.

Other supporters of Pacific have been called “scumbags”, “cockroaches”, “paid thugs” and a myriad of similar defamations. Sheriffs have been called in, stories were fabricated in order to have supporters forcibly removed, all the while diverting the valuable attention of our law enforcement away from actual crimes possibly taking place and wasting more of our tax dollars.

Jim Smith, Save Open Space (SOS) organizer, was quoted in a Sun Post News article (Thurs. June 21, “Pacific Golf referendum drive heats up”) saying “the democratic process is really being strangled here”. I had always thought that democracy was about choice.

Is the act of offering more complete information, or more sides of an issue strangling democracy? I always thought it was a responsibility. Is he suggesting that democracy exists as long as the other side doesn’t fight back?

There have been a number of one-sided regimes in history, but my teachers had called those forms of government something else. Maybe Jim went to a different school than I did. While only slightly surprised, I am deeply ashamed of the behavior of these individuals. They are not a product of San Clemente’s new component in Talega and they are not outsiders.

Most of these opponents are well into their fifties and beyond, and purport to be long-time residents. Shame on you. And for the misguided few helping this disingenuious lot, read up on the facts, please. But don’t believe me, simply pay attention to these peoples behavior and what they are saying.

David Kelsen