Editorial: Bad news, good news
The world of presidential politics may seem mostly far removed from Gloucester and Mathews counties. The candidates don’t come here and we are forced to evaluate them through news reports filed from far afield.
The issues and perceptions of national politics (remember, the presidential election is still more than a year away, with all the hullabaloo seemingly indicating it is right around the corner) resonate at home this year in at least two issues.
The bad news
The Milford Haven bridge to Gwynn’s Island, outrageously, is suddenly declared too weak to carry more than 10 tons, threatening commerce and public safety. We absolutely concur with the county board in pressing the state for a quick solution.
President Obama touts his jobs plan as the ticket to repair a crumbling infrastructure. We are all familiar with the image of the interstate crumbling into the Mississippi River at Minneapolis in 2007. We know all too well about potholes.
But now the message comes home with force. Original supports of the 72-year-old island bridge have rusted through. And a state road engineer has said that money is not available for an immediate repair, and could be a year or so in coming this way. We are assured that the bridge is sound for light cars and trucks. We hope it is so.
It would be nice if the Obama jobs bill had some money, and some jobs, in it to rebuild this bridge.
One of the best things emerging from the GOP race for the nomination is the current front-running status of Herman Cain. It’s good, not that we necessarily agree with any or all of his positions, but that this stature should forever eradicate an automatic charge (by some) of racism in the Republican Party, which after all was the party of abolition.
How does this affect us locally? Racism is the great elephant in the room in almost every issue of contention at the state, local and federal levels. Some people say it exists. Some suspect it. Many deny it. Many won’t even address the charge. And the fact that it is mentioned as a tangent, or ignored, causes hidden rust to eat away at the social fabric, just as rust has eaten away at the island bridge.
It will be many generations until the stigma of racism fades from this land, and sadly, it will be replaced by something else. But should Cain be nominated and take on Obama, the "Whites Only" sign that is posted on the hearts and minds of many Americans might be put in the shadows forever. And that would be a great thing.