The other day the Midland Reporter Telegram (MRT.com) had it's own Pauline Kael moment in an editorial about the bulging bond debt that burdens the residents of the county and city of Midland, Texas. The bond debt is huge, no question about that. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has done a great job of opening voters' eyes, although so far it hasn't had much of an effect.
Anyway, here's where the morning paper became Pauline Kael. In the editorial Midland doesn't care about debt they say this:
The bond debt issue is one we have put out there for our readers, usually to the sound of crickets.
They don't know anyone who is concerned about the debt. Poor Pauline Kael suffered the same condition. She's the New Yorker film critic who said after Richard Nixon won the presidential election, “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” (See this for the actual quote.)
Much like Pauline Kael's rather special world, the MRT brass' special world is one in which no one is concerned about the mountain of debt created by the local taxing entities. Their world is inhabited by the folks who promote, not oppose, the bond proposals. See, for example, how they heap praise on them.
If they could step out of their cloistered world they might hear a different side. Captain Watchdog Jason Moore could give them an earful. Currently, a small group of people who really want a bond passed can get it passed with a tiny percent of the registered voters in an election with a light turnout. Moore made an excellent suggestion that bond proposals shouldn't be allowed to pass unless a certain percentage of registered voters vote for it. He hears more than crickets when he speaks.
Charles Murray was right. We congregate with like minded people. There's nothing wrong with that unless you're trying to lecture people outside your circle.