Often quoted, but rarely attributed to 19th Century journalist Charles Dudley Warner, the notion is that people with otherwise strongly different and disparate views can cooperate on a common goal.
So it seems that I am now allied with some Amarillo folks over downtown development — specifically advocating a vote opposing the baseball stadium so-called multi-purpose event venue. But on other issues, these people hold personal and political views so opposite to mine that I am a little flabbergasted I am working with them. These people are far more conservative, perhaps even right-wing, more religiously fundamentalist and overt about it. Their ways with words are also different, reflecting more of their more salt-of-the-earth characteristics than my university-educated and 20-year journalism career approach to thinking and writing.
But make no mistake about this: These are good people with good hearts. They have concluded, as I have, that, the current Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc.-Amarillo Globe-News plan for downtown development is fatally flawed. These are good people who smell a rat, or several rats, in the downtown development cabal.
I don’t know if their views would lead to alternative plans or whether their views arise from a strict view that government’s role at every level should be limited and that so-called public-private partnerships betray that notion. From a pragmatic perspective on this one issue, it doesn’t matter. On the other hand, I hope we can turn the direction of downtown development back to revitalizing the Civic Center, restoring the Herring Hotel to its former glory and properly exploiting the cattle-cowboy-railroad Western Heritage to attract tourism.
For me, however, it’s a strange sensation, given my long history of wanting alliances to be with people more philosophically pure than on a case-by-case basis. At age 70, it is a strange sensation, one I like, although I still struggle a bit with the discomfort.