For the past 17 years, I've lived in the same house in a suburban development about 20 miles west of Cleveland. Like neighboring developments, ours was built with white concrete streets and matching sidewalks and driveways.
Over the years, the streets have taken quite a beating, and last year it was decided they needed to be replaced. To the dismay of many, however, the city said it could not afford to repave with concrete as it has done in other developments. Instead, 200-plus homeowners will have to live with asphalt and all that comes with it, including the smell, staining, chuckholes (guaranteed by cold winters), and lower property values.
That would have been the end of it had I not seen what I consider unnecessary spending in the very project that was supposed to be saving the city money. After the first layer of asphalt went in, a second work crew showed up and removed large sections of sidewalk on more than a dozen street corners. Then they poured new concrete — a good 15 foot path per installation — accomplishing nothing more than forming a wide step-down where the walkways border the street. The next day there appeared several pallets of red bricks, later distributed in neat stacks at each corner. After that, the workers spent an entire day cutting, arranging, and leveling the bricks inside the cutouts along the sidewalk's edge.
My neighbors and I were told that the red dimpled bricks have been added, not for their aesthetic or wear qualities, but for the safety of blind pedestrians crossing the street. It's a matter of complying with federal regulations. Now I'm all for helping others, but something's wrong when the city decides it's okay to shortchange hundreds of homeowners, yet it can hire a special contractor (using our money) to tear up and redo perfectly good sidewalks. And for what?
Since 1988, I know of only one time that a blind person walked in our development, and she did just fine. The new street corners won't make our sidewalks any safer for her or anyone else. If anything, the textured surfaces are a tripping hazard, making the sidewalks less safe for the people footing the bill.
This is not about safety anyway, which is why I bring it up. It's about power. It's about big government using the Trojan horse of political correctness to extend its control over states, municipalities, industry, education, health care, and ultimately you and me.
Who, after all, is going to criticize laws and regulations meant to protect the disadvantaged, or the environment, or human rights? So what if our sidewalks are ugly and property values fall. So what if the majority are put out for a nonexistent minority. So what if special interests are riding the same political horse, trampling one American institution after another.
That's the deceptive nature of this thing. We've been led to believe that if we oppose the PC movement, we are also opposing equality and compassion.
In fact, political correctness is behind some of the most despicable things going on in our nation today. Just beyond those sight-impaired-people-friendly corners is an ideology that villainizes the Boy Scouts of America, mocks the principles on which the U.S. was founded, and looks down its nose at anyone who still believes in God and Country. This same “compassionate” ideology, by the way, also supports such heinous practices as late-term abortion. If the orchestrators of the PC movement really want to improve lives, they should start by sparing the lives of the most helpless, innocent, and underadvantaged of us all.
The wolf in sheep's clothing, otherwise known as political correctness, can no longer be given a pass. It's right at our street corners — mine literally — and it's heading for our front doors. We can oppose it. We must.