Friday, March 26, 2004

Sound Familiar?

A county commissioner race down in Henderson County between an incumbent good-old-boy Republican and a Sierra-Club-card-carrying Democrat is, according to letters to the editor in Hendersonville, "heating up already." The attacks on the Democrat suggest that his Sierra Club membership is proof enough of "environmental extremism."

A letter to the editor in the Hendersonville News made these points: "Ironically large numbers of Henderson County Bush Republicans are softer on environmentalism than you might think. Why? Many are retirees who have chosen to live here because of the mountain environment. I have also read letters from life-long residents lamenting that the once-green ridges are now covered with subdivisions, that apple orchards are disappearing, that their wells are polluted and that certain members of the commission seem to have a surly attitude toward the protection of existing residential neighborhoods from asphalt plants, cell towers and connectors. Extreme environmentalism to be sure."

All pretty much an exact carbon copy of recent political contests in Watauga County, right down to the threat of asphalt plants, the developing demographic of "outsider" Republicans who believe in zoning, and the ironies of mountain natives who SEE the problem but who can't get to the solution from here.

It will be the evolving new majority of non-native Republicans in Henderson County who'll have to change things, same as here. It just may take too long for that new majority to change the power structure, in which case there won't be that much left to save.

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