Richard Brady: And the survey says?

Dennis Brack

I hope you have had a chance to go through some of the numbers in last week’s Rappahannock News. I thought the results were very well laid out. I spent considerable time with it and came away with much the same feeling as many people had when this thing was being considered: Much ado about nothing.

A number of people that I talked to or heard from when the survey was on the drawing board thought it was…how shall I say this?…kind of silly. The sentiment was that instead of spending a boatload of charitable funds, you could just ask a handful of old timers and they would have told you, don’t change a thing. We like it the way it is.  

Look at the numbers on the front page of last week’s paper concerning change. Add the 29 percent who said no change is needed to the 65 percent who said the county should stay as it is and you get 94 percent of the people saying, basically, leave us alone. That is an overwhelming number of people saying the same thing. Are you surprised? I’m not. I am surprised that when 94 percent of the people say “leave me alone,” that anyone could believe that finding begs for more study and detail. Incredible. How do you respond to more study? Leave me the hell alone!    

I invite those who think there is anything new or of any value in this endeavor to look up “un-freaking-believable.”

Now, look at the responses that have to do with the quality of life here. The issue of “privacy and being left alone” gets a whopping 3.54 out of 4.0. Dear reader, that is 88.5 percent of the people saying that they value their privacy and, again, want to be left alone. It correlates closely with the 94 percent mentioned above. I cannot imagine this surprises anyone but the totally clueless. Could I see a show of hands?

But nothing is entirely worthless. At least there is some humor to be found in the rationalizations of those who didn’t like the numbers. To paraphrase, “That needs more in-depth study. I wouldn’t put much stock in that. We don’t know what people meant when they were talking about privacy.”    

I have come to the conclusion that it is engrained in the DNA of the Foothills crew to talk down to the good people of Rappahannock County. Again, to paraphrase, “They don’t really know what ‘private’ means, because we didn’t define it for them.” If you could see me now, I have my index finger stuck about halfway down my throat. How can anyone believe that this is anything but condescending horse hockey? It reminds me of Bill Clinton’s response when asked about his marital indiscretions. He couldn’t answer the question because he didn’t know the definition of “it.”  

Perhaps someone will explain to the bewildered masses why anyone could think this was a good idea. I heard last week that the next project for the Foothills folk was to develop a vehicle so that people would know what their neighbors are thinking. Is there no end to this folly? Here is a novel thought: If you must know what your neighbor is thinking, try asking him. Are they going to waste even more money to provide us with the answer to this mystery?  

I lament, again, what a shameful waste of charitable funds. You will have to excuse me now while I get my dictionary out and look up “privacy.” I seem to have forgotten what it means. I invite those who think there is anything new or of any value in this endeavor to look up “un-freaking-believable.”

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