So, last month, Columbia County Chairman Ron Cross caused a bit of a controversy with his message to residents in their water bills because of its strong politically conservative tone.
A conservative newsletter in Columbia County? Shocking, right?
Of course not.
But this particular message in the water bill not only took on the NFL players not standing for the national anthem, but it began pointing fingers and criticizing Democrats throughout this country.
“People are fired for almost insulting someone, and the entire country is so emotionally fragile that everyone is afraid to breathe,” Cross wrote in the October newsletter. “Democrats continue to seek a safe haven after their disastrous election, and their current liberal playbook is simply to insult and ridicule the President. Of course, he makes that very easy. Another thing, ‘Will Hillary ever go away?’”
Cross then discussed an article in The Wall Street Journal that talked about the political affiliations of individuals and how those people regard certain topics such as climate change, the National Rifle Association and religion.
He also begins discussing the differences between people’s culture, history and languages.
“The whole truth is that we are a divided nation because we invite and encourage division without restraint,” Cross wrote. “There is certainly some strength in diversity, but there is a heck of a lot more in unity. … We invite people into our country and encourage them to bring their cultures, their religions, their habits, and their differences. We do not even require them to go through the immigration process. We do require that they learn our language, our culture, our history, and our laws. We wait until they break laws and then they try to explain why.”
Let’s just say, Cross decided to fully embrace not being politically correct.
“I agree with the quote attributed to President Teddy Roosevelt, ‘The term hyphenated-American is the greatest threat to the United States of America,’” Cross wrote. “We do not need Italian-American, German-American, or African-American. We should all be American. We should all speak the same language, know the same history, observe the same language, know the same history, observe the same main culture, and obey the same laws.”
Needless to say, some of the more liberal-thinking residents in Columbia County didn’t appreciate the commissioner’s thoughts on these national and social issues.
And many made their objections known to other commissioners, the county staff and the local media.
So, what did Cross decide to write in November’s newsletter to residents?
“The article last month brought a number of varied responses,” Cross began in his November message in the water bill. “Many agree; several disagreed, but the surprising thing was that many did not seem to understand that my comments were in response to the survey printed in The Wall Street Journal.”
No, no, Mr. Chairman. People understood that fact. What they didn’t understand was why you were even talking about such an article in their water bill.
Cross said some critics of his comments were “not respectful” and “just resorted to name calling.”
“A common threat among those that disliked the article was that I should not be expressing my personal opinion in the mailer,” Cross said. “Well, maybe that is true, but my views usually coincide with the feeling of our conservative county.”
Well, Mr. Chairman, as Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a-changing.”
Now, let’s all understand, Columbia County is one of the most conservative counties in Georgia, perhaps even in the South.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone is socially conservative.
Some people are more fiscally conservative. Others are more conservative because of their religious beliefs. However, not every conservative in Columbia County believes this country should close its borders to all illegal immigrants as the chairman insisted last month in his newsletter.
Not every conservative thinks all residents should be the same, act the same and have the same beliefs. Not everyone thinks that people need to conform to match the majority.
And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
As more and more new residents move into this area from all across the country and the world for everything from new businesses to the medical field to the expansion of Fort Gordon’s Cyber Command, Columbia County is going to become more and more diverse.
So, Cross might want to open his eyes and consider the future or buckle his seatbelt and prepare for a rough road ahead.