What is happening to America? More precisely, what is happening to Americanism in Bradley County? It is a sad day when so-called Americans betray the tenets of this great and unique nation to further a selfish and antisocial agenda. It is happening here right now perpetrated by people entrusted to protect the citizens they serve.
People's rights are being trampled on in the name of progress but is it progress that is really the driving force behind a new airport?
A few years back Cleveland's ruling elite decided that their vast land and property holdings would rise in value if development restrictions were to be placed on county property owners in the form of zoning. Zoning would allow them to control who would benefit from the sale of lucrative commercial property. The scheme was simple, restricting how much commercial property was available at any given time would increase its value if people wanted to do business here. Hence the need for zoning.
County property owners are not stupid and they saw through the scheme, rejecting zoning at every gathering organized at the behest of Cleveland's most influential property moguls. Opposition was vocal and loud. As anyone involved will remember, appealing to our leaders through common sense arguments did not work. Appealing to the law, did not work. Signing petitions, did not work. Attending public hearings to voice opposition, did not work. Nothing, even though what was being perpetrated on American citizens was fraud, made any difference. Committees were stacked, bribes and intimidation were rife. Zoning was enacted.
It is easy to identify those that pushed for zoning. They are the ones who made, and are continuing to make fortunes out of land speculation. There are no smart outsiders making money, it is buttoned up to serve Cleveland's elite. More about them later. Please stay with me.
Next they needed to attract outside business to buy commercial property in Bradley County and to help, they needed to reverse local "regressive" liquor laws. No easy task in a historically dry community. Unlike zoning, a vote of the people could decide liquor's fate. Time after time the liquor-by-the-drink measure was reborn using a variety of manipulative techniques, until eventually success was achieved at the voting booth. Would Cleveland survive without liquor? Of course it would. Did Cleveland get a Red Lobster restaurant as promised? Of course it didn't.
Now the new airport.
Just like zoning county property, the new airport is unpopular with the citizen, but popular with those who stand to benefit. The process is almost identical, with people being ignored at public hearings. Ignored by their leaders and ignored by the law, including state and federal lawmakers. Everyone knows a new airport is not necessary for Cleveland to flourish, and that it is being constructed primarily to house rich people's airplanes, including those of local businessman Allan Jones and his airline, but not one of Cleveland's leaders is courageous enough to admit it.
The idea for an airport was concocted many years ago at a secretive meeting attended by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, and other local leaders. Interestingly, Gary Farlow, considered a hot shot at locating airports and reforming counties, was invited to the meeting. Farlow has since been hired by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and is now a prime planner for the future of Bradley County. Neither Farlow, nor the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce are known for their consideration of the likes and dislikes of ordinary people. Their main purpose is to serve the wealthy and influential elite of Cleveland under the guise of community service.
The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce with guidance from the dark and shadowy Cleveland Associated Industries, who's membership is highly selective and a closely guarded secret, have been influencing the political direction of Bradley County for years. Although their influence has not been all bad, their primary purpose is to benefit themselves and if those benefits happen to help citizens then so much the better. Those perceived benefits to the citizen can be used as a propaganda tool to prove their worthiness but if their plans violate people's rights, as with zoning and the airport, too bad. Who are these people behind the airport scheme? Discover who are members of Cleveland Associated Industries and you will find the answer. The location of Whacker Industries to Bradley County is a case in point. It was secretive with only the elite at the Chamber knowing while deals were being made and the booty divided, once everything was settled a media blitz of how beneficial Whacker would be to the citizen of the county was unleashed. Time will tell who benefits from Whacker's $2 billion investment but I believe most of us can guess.
Now I have taken care of the basic history for those who did not already know, we can reflect on what has been learned as it relates to the new airport. First, common sense and logical thought will not help those who are opposed, and also relying on the local, state or federal government for relief will not help. Voicing your opinion at a public hearing, while giving the impression of involvement, will ultimately prove unproductive. Finding a favorable law to halt construction is unlikely to be supported by the court which tend to find for governments.
What can be done for Americanism and property ownership to win out over tyranny? Unfortunately, the people pushing this airport care nothing for the rights of ordinary people or the spirit of the law. They want this new airport and they will destroy any attempt to oppose it. After all, what is the measure of true power? It is to prevail when faced with massive opposition? But, and there is a massive "but" that can trump the most powerful, at least in America, and that is the spending power of the masses. If you lose the good will of the public, power and fortune fades fast. All of Cleveland's elite rely on your good will to function. Expose them for what they are and they are nothing. You could call the owner of every business in Bradley County and ask them if they are a member of the Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Ask them if they support a new airport that people don't want. I have a hunch that there are many Chamber members that feel for you, but at the very least, you will identify your friends, and know your enemies. Once those working against you are individually identified, you can withdraw your support from their business and treat their name with disrespect, as they do yours. You could start with those on the Cleveland City Council although their answer can be pretty much assumed. They will still get a new airport by using lies and manipulation, but make them pay a cost more than it is worth.
After reading this op-ed, you may wrongly assume I am against an airport in Bradley County. I do not believe a new airport is necessarily a bad thing. What I think is bad is that in our political system individuals are supposed to be able to prevail if they can prove government is unresponsive to their concerns, and there are no compelling reasons for a government action. In Bradley County, this is not happening and the word for it is tyranny. Also, if this whole airport thing had been approached in a compassionate way, maybe even the expansion of Hardwick Field seriously considered, there may have been favorable public support.
That's what I think, what do you think?