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November 23, 2015


Along these same lines, Brian, Jim Webb's "Born Fighting," about the Scots-Irish and their influence on American politics and culture, is a must-read.

Well now brother Brian, and you know I love you like a brother; there's a problem.
You state that Salem voters vote against their own self interest?
The problem is that you haven't the slightest, foggiest, teency-encey-weencyist clue what the majority of Salem citizen's self interest is!
That is how far you are detached from the fine citizenry of Salem and Marion County in my opinion.
One example:
You support the current routing of HWY 22 through the downtown core of Salem.
At the same time, you want to narrow and further restrict traffic through town!!???
4 lanes of intra-state commercial traffic, commuters and tourists entering Salem from East and West, DUMPING dead center in our town. You support that.
Worse, you seek to further restrict traffic lanes!!!!???
Do you drive a heavy truck as part of your business? If so, how many of them are in your fleet?
You are detached!
Salem voters vote in their self interest, not yours.
I do agree with your angst over the 3rd bridge.
But only because it should connect HWY 22 east and west, right around our town, 55mph with no intersections.
I would vote for that. It is in my own self interest and all others in business.
For those that just drive a mini, not so much....

Harry, I don't support the current three lanes of traffic through downtown. Front Street is the state highway. The City of Salem doesn't control this state highway, which connects to the current bridges across the Willamette and bypasses downtown.

I'd like to see Court and State streets reduced to two lanes, preferably two-way with two lanes. Commercial and Liberty streets probably also should be reduced to two lanes in the downtown area past Ferry Street.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that I want more traffic downtown. I want less, with more people walking and cycling.

Brian I think that the Cherriots brand has become toxic and is forever associated with waste, mismanagement, overspending, and government unaccountability. Why? Because they will always be connected with one of the greatest symbols of government waste in this city- the Courthouse Square and its resulting fiasco.

A lack of oversight. Poor planning. The ability to magically come up with the needed millions for pet projects by a supposedly strapped government. The lack of anyone in charge being held accountable (mostly due to the governing by committee and passing the buck). Throwing more good money after bad. These are all thoughts typically associated with courthouse square, and Cherriots too, whether it is deserved or not.

I do not know of anyone in town that is proud of the building or has any positive associations with it. But for many -next to empty busses rumbling though town- courthouse square is what symbolizes and represents Cherriots. Which makes supporting them a bitter pill to swallow.

How do they fix it? I don't know. You can't unscrew the pooch. Maybe time and hoping the association will fade from the public's memory. But until then that building will be the millstone of Cherriot's own making tied around their neck pulling them down, forever tainting and poisioning the public's perception of them.

Brian --

Anyone who really wants to understand why poorer Americans vote Republican needs to look into the richly informative, and highly entertaining essays of the brilliant Joe Bageant ("Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball," "Deer Hunting With Jesus," etc).

Joe is, sadly, no longer grousing among us, but his essays are archived, here:

Joe grew up among the folks that are under discussion here. He understands them very well and, although he very much regrets their voting habits, he has compassion for such folk, and for the life conditions that made them what they are.

Take a look. I guarantee you that you will be glad that you did. You will be both entertained and informed.

"People in the wealthier parts of town -- south and west Salem -- both lean conservative and vote at a considerably higher rate than the lower income, more liberal people in other areas."

I think that line answers the question: the left is not mobilized in Salem. Especially in off year elections that sees the ownership class exerts its influence and mobilizes its ideological adherents.

I think there is an apathy with the 2 party system that plays into this as well. Many working class and poor (rightfully) see both parties as unconcerned with their class interests and as a result are not motivated to vote. A stronger effort at organizing these communities in the only chance we have at countering the ownership class' influence and control of our city.

Brian said:
"Harry, I don't support the current three lanes of traffic through downtown. Front Street is the state highway."
HWY 22 comprises, Front, Ferry, Trade, Bellevue, 12th & Mission St.
HWY 22 crosses Commercial, Liberty, High, Church, Cottage and Winter St.
Go to google maps and zoom in.
Hwy 22 through Salem is a DISASTER.
Until that problem is solved correctly (in the citizens best interest), every thing else discussed is just dreaming.

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